Paper aeroplane champ's citizenship formally approved
Almost a decade after earning fame by winning a national paper-aeroplane championship at the age of 12, Mong Thongdee has collected a letter of approval for his Thai citizenship on Friday.
"I'm so happy to get Thai nationality," he said at Chiang Mai's Muang District Office, adding that he would add his name to the household registration of his family's rented house in Tambon Suthep.
He also said he would request a postponement to join the annual military conscription draw, which all Thai men at the age of 20 must attend.
As he will soon graduate from the Mathayom 6 level via non-formal education, Mong said he planned to continue his studies to the Bachelor Degree level.
Mong's father, Yoon Thongdee, 45, said he was glad that his son finally got Thai nationality and he would teach him to do good things for his homeland and study to the highest level possible to help his younger siblings.
Born in Thailand of Burmese ancestry, Mong won the paper aeroplane making competition in Japan in 2009, prompting the Abhisit Vejjajiva government to promise him Thai citizenship, although no progress was made at the time.
Mong's hope of citizenship was rekindled after some of the “Wild Boars” football team, who had been trapped in a Chiang Rai flooded cave, got Thai citizenship following their dramatic rescue.