Passport Department officials on Tuesday accepted the passport application submitted for Roth Arun, a severely disabled 2-year-old orphan hoping to go to the US for free medical treatment.
The application was signed by Deputy Prime Minister and co-Minister of Interior Prince Norodom Sirivudh. One of the letters also offered the blessing of Roth Arun’s caretakers at the Nutrition Center, a facility for abandoned disabled, ill and mentally handicapped children, which has been his home for about three months.
Another letter from the NGO American Assistance for Cambodia vouched responsibility for Roth Arun’s care while abroad. That letter was signed by Sau Phan, deputy chief of National Police, who urged expediency in issuing the passport in a note written next to his signature.
Although he hadn’t yet issued the passport Tuesday evening, Colonel Ke Sovath, vice director of the Passport Department, expressed his confidence in the good intentions of people seeking to help Roth Arun go to the US.
“We are excited that there is someone to help our Khmer people,” Ke Sovath said.
“I am helping because there are signatures,” said Ke Sovath of the passport application, but he added, “I will ask my boss about it tomorrow, because he is the one who decides.”
After being abandoned by his family, Roth Arun was transferred about three months ago from Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital to the Nutrition Center, center director Yang Sovanna said.
Since February, Kantha Bopha has transferred 40 children the center, said Yang Sovanna, adding that the hospital sponsors $100 per month for each of the children, and the funds are used to provide for all 125 children at the center.