Thursday, March 03, 2011

Andrew Ko - Wins Order for Return of Twin Sons from Singapore

Andrew Ko successfully won a return order from the courts in Singapore for his twin sons, William and Christopher.  The boys were abducted from California to Singapore in August 2009, and in this instance the return order appears to be relatively quick - especially given Singapore has only recently signed the Hague Convention.

Rather than me prattle on, I think it better if Andrew's own words speak for him and what he
is asking us all to do:

Hello everyone, 
I wanted to let you all know that I am in Singapore as I write, and we are hopefully on the 
brink of some very positive news from the Singapore court.   On March 3rd, the Singapore
judge is scheduled to rule on my motion to have the Singapore court recognize the US
Court Order, issued Sept. 14, 2010, awarding full, permanent custody to me.   While
nothing is certain, there have been numerous indicators throughout this saga that
Singapore recognizes that the US is the appropriate forum for determining custody of my
sons.    I am very, very hopeful that on March 3rd, the judge will rule that the US court
order is to be recognized and respected by Singapore, and the boys returned to my
custody to be brought home to the United States. 
As we have seen in other cases, most notably Sean Goldman's, the most effective tool
to impart justice in cases of international parental abduction is the instigation of
government-to-government dialogue.  Pressure applied through appropriate diplomatic
channels makes a difference for our children!  This dialogue comes about almost
exclusively through the application of public pressure.   
Therefore, I respectfully and passionately issue this call to action: 
Please encourage your friends and associates to do the same.  Please demand that
US diplomates and officials engage Singapore in order to adhere to the Hague Convention
on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and take an active role in ensuring
the safe, just and rightful return of these young victims to their father and to their home
here in the U.S. 
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500 
Use this link to email President Obama: 
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Use this link to email Attorney General Holder:
Office of U.S. Representative Christopher H. Smith - New Jersey
2373 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20515
p 202-225-3765
f  202-225-7768 
If you live in California, please write to Senator Boxer, Senator Feinstein and your local
congress representative.
Office of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
501 I Street, Suite 7-600
Sacramento, CA  95814 
Use this link to email Senator Boxer:  
Office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
One Post Street, Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA  94101 
Use this link to email Senator Feinstein: 

The paragraph below is a sample that can be used for reaching out to elected officials. 
Please email, fax, or call your Senators and Congress members in your home state, as
they will likely not respond to non-constituents.   
Dear (official's name),
Christopher Ko and William Ko are minor children who were abducted to Singapore. 
The US Government needs to communicate to the Singapore Government that we want
the boys returned.  I am asking you as my elected official to contact Hillary Clinton -
State Dept, Attorney General Holder - Justice Dept and President Obama to ask that
they contact their counterparts in the Singapore Government to strongly express our
desire to see the boys returned home to the United States.  The case is entering its
18th month and it is time my government got involved!  Christopher's NCIC case number
is M648309789 and William's is M308382442.

On behalf of my boys, William and Christopher, who turn 11 this month, thank you from
the bottom of my heart.
Andrew Ko
Singapore acceded to the Hague Convention in December 2010 and will start enforcing decisions
with effect from March 1st 2011 - the development means that Ko's US custody order is now
recognized by the Singaporean courts and the mother has been ordered to return the children.
This does not preclude her from appealing the decision, and there is still the thorny issue of
enforcement but for Andrew, William and Christopher at least, the prospect of reunification is
looking to be a very real and close prospect.

Do your best to make your voice heard and take 5 minutes to contact the Senators and President
Obama as Andrew Ko requests.

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