'COME AND GET ME': Lin Yi Nong
Mother on a rescue mission
SUSAN MOHAMMED email@example.com
Part II of this article appeared in yesterday’s Express. Today the Express concludes its story of Trinidadian mother Sherrine Khan-Pierre who is planning to travel to the other side of the world in search of her lost daughter.
SHERINE Khan-Pierre is planning a rescue mission to Taiwan to find her daughter Lin Yi Nong, and bring her back to Trinidad.
Khan-Pierre told the Express that her daughter wants to live in Couva with her mother and two siblings.
Therefore, Khan-Pierre is attempting to raise the funds needed for the round trip ticket to Taiwan.
Yi Nong, 14, left Trinidad when she was almost six months old to visit her Taiwanese father and his family, and never returned. Her two older siblings came back to Trinidad with their mother who was facing deportation from Taiwan, and decided to return home.
Yi Nong was raised by her father and his mother. It was only last year when Taiwanese school authorities discovered that the teenager did not have proper identification and documentation, she too faced deportation.
However, an appeal to the President of the Republic of China for residency was successful. The news of Yi Nong's unusual family circumstances spread.
A television crew approached Yi Nong to produce a documentary about her life in Taiwan, and her estranged family in Trinidad.
On December 30 Yi Nong met her Trinidadian family for the first time in the company of the television crew.
After four days with her mother and other relatives, Ni Yong did not want to leave, her mother said.
Khan-Pierre said hours before her daughter had to head to the Piarco International Airport to return to Taiwan, she pleaded with her father to remain in Trinidad for three months.
The girl attempted to bargain with him, if he agreed to her extended stay she would return to Taiwan with her older brother, Chao Ting Sean Lin, 16, who would be meeting his father for the first time after 13 years. The father declined.
As a result, Yi Nong returned to Taiwan, and kept in close contact with her Trinidadian family, narrowing the separation using Facebook and Skype.
Her mother said Yi Nong often expressed her desire to return to them, and vowed to save up money for the journey.
One afternoon in August, after a school day, Yi Nong did not show up at her father's house in the county of Taoyuan.
She would not answer calls to her cellphone from her father and his relatives, and did not return voicemail messages. Her father told Khan-Pierre that he reported her missing to local police.
She vanished, contacting no one.
The mother said the fear she feels for her daughter is immense in a country of over 23 million, and she feared the trap of human traffickers, thieves and sexual predators.
Khan-Pierre kept calling Yi Nong's number, finally, two weeks ago she answered. The teenager spoke for only a few seconds, but the message was clear.
"I want you to come get me in Taiwan," Yi-Nong told her.
Khan-Pierre said she works as a Mandarin interpreter with the Immigration Detention Centre of the Ministry of National Security, and does not have enough money to purchase the $30,000 round-trip airline ticket.
The mother has knocked on several diplomatic doors and visited business owners seeking assistance.
Khan-Pierre said : "I found out that the Taiwanese Embassy moved from Grenada to St Vincent, and I e-mailed them, but there was no reply. I went into the British consulate and related the story, hoping that they could contact their British consulate in Taiwan. The officials there said they could not help me."
The mother said through the National Security Ministry she contacted a police officer working with Interpol. "The officer told me that Interpol has its furthest station in China, and because of the country's broken political ties with Taiwan it is unlikely that officers there can help", said Khan-Pierre.
Her supervisor has contacted officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who said there was little that can be done in a country where there are no diplomatic ties.
Khan-Pierre visited the head office of the Ministry of the People and Social Development, and an officer there told her: "We do not handle those kinds of things here".
The mother has posted her pleas on Facebook, imploring anyone who can assist her in getting to Taiwan.
A post on her Facebook account yesterday stated: "I am sending a plea to everyone. Please share this around we need help in finding my daughter she is in Taiwan. She is only 14 yrs old."
The post further stated: "I am her mother and we need to raise funds urgently. Please help me bring my baby back home. If a loan is made available to me I am willing to repay via standing order if necessary."
Even if Khan-Pierre successfully makes it to Taiwan, and finds Yi Nong, she knows there is a battle ahead in taking her out of a country which she was ordered to leave.
If anyone is willing to assist Khan-Pierre she can be contacted at 378-3084, or contact the Express at 652-2900 extension 2722.