High Noon in Mid-Air, August 2019: For the Murugappans of Biloela

ABC Account on 30 August 2019, with this title “Who are the Tamil family from Biloela and why are they being deported?” ……  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-30/who-are-tamil-family-from-biloela-why-are-they-being-deported/11463276

Last-minute injunctions have stalled the deportation of a Tamil family who have spent years fighting to stay in Australia. The plane carrying the Sri Lankan couple and their Australian-born daughters had already left the tarmac at Melbourne Airport when a judge granted a reprieve over the phone. Here’s what we know about the family’s case:

Dozens of people rushed to Melbourne Airport in a bid to stop the family being deported on Thursday night..   … Supplied: @HometoBilo)

Who are they?

Priya and Nadesalingam, also known as Nades, came to Australia separately by boat in 2012 and 2013. Friends and support groups say the pair fled Sri Lanka because of the persecution of the Tamil people. The couple married and settled in the Central Queensland town of Biloela, where they lived and worked for about three years. Their two daughters, Kopika and Tharunicaa, were born in Australia and are now aged 4 and 2.

Why are they being deported?

Nades and Priya with Tharunicaa …. Supplied: Tamil Refugee Council

Who are the Tamil family from Biloela and why are they being deported_ – ABC News

Tharunicaa, at age nine months, and Kopika, aged two years. Supplied: Tamil Refugee Council … [MISSING]

It’s understood Priya and Nades’s visas expired between January and February 2018. The Department of Home Affairs has repeatedly said that the family’s case has been comprehensively assessed over many years, and they have consistently been found not to meet Australia’s protection obligations.

The family also had their appeal rejected by the Federal Circuit Court in June last year. In that judgment, the judge noted that Nades had returned to Sri Lanka on three occasions during the civil war and there was no evidence to suggest his family still living in Sri Lanka was at risk from authorities. She also noted the passage of time since the Sri Lankan civil war, which ended in May 2009.

Where have they been?

After their visas expired, the family were removed from their home by Border Force officials in March 2018. They were flown to a detention centre in Melbourne, where they remained until Thursday night. The Biloela community and various humanitarian and social justice groups have fought to free the family. The High Court dismissed an application to review the case in May 2019.

What happened on Thursday night?

Nades sent a video of himself and his two daughters on board the plane. (Supplied: Simone Cameron) … [MISSING

Just after 8:00pm on Thursday, advocacy group Home to Bilo tweeted the family were being deported. A friend of the family said they were taken to Melbourne Airport without warning. The friend said Priya was put in one van and the girls were put in a different van. Dozens of people responded to Home to Bilo’s call to go to the airport in a bid to stop the deportation.

As the plane departed just before 11:00pm, an interim injunction was granted over the phone by a judge to prevent them from leaving the country. The plane landed in Darwin shortly before 3:00am Friday and the family was taken from the aircraft. On Friday morning, the family was being held at a hotel at Darwin Airport.

What happens now?

The family’s lawyer Carina Ford speaks about the court’s latest ruling [MISSING]

On Friday morning the Federal Court ruled that the youngest daughter, Tharunicaa, not be deported from Australia until 4:00pm Wednesday. According to the family’s lawyer Carina Ford, it’s now up to the Government to decide if it will proceed with the removal of the other family members. “It would be pretty inhumane to separate the family at this time,” she said.

Friday on Channel Nine’s The Today Show, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said he wanted the family to accept they weren’t refugees and wouldn’t be able to stay in Australia.

More on this story:


Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, asylum-seekers, Australian culture, australian media, centre-periphery relations, charitable outreach, communal relations, democratic measures, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, immigration, landscape wondrous, legal issues, life stories, meditations, performance, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, social justice, sri lankan society, taking the piss, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, tolerance, transport and communications, trauma, travelogue, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

Leave a Reply