Australian court halts deportation of two Sri Lankan Tamils

The Australian federal Government has been ordered to halt the deportation of two members of a Tamil family as they await an appeal about whether they can return to the country Queensland town they call home, Nine News reported.

Federal Court Justice Bernard Murphy on Monday granted an urgent injunction prohibiting immigration authorities from deporting Priya and her three-year-old daughter.

Priya was issued with a deportation notice on Friday, a day after losing a bid to stop the family’s deportation at the Federal Circuit Court.

Priya, her husband Nadesalingam and the couple’s two children are being held in immigration detention in Melbourne.

On Thursday the Federal Circuit Court dismissed all three grounds of the family’s appeal against the Immigration Assessment Authority’s decision not to grant them safe haven visas.

Priya and Nadesalingam came to Australia separately by boat in 2012 and 2013 and settled in Biloela, in central Queensland, before having their two daughters.

Nadesalingam was getting ready for work at the local meatworks and the children were in bed when Australian Border Force officials went to the house on March 5.

A week later the family were taken to Perth Airport for deportation and put on a plane to Sri Lanka until a last-minute legal intervention saw them disembark.

The Biloela community and supporters have rallied around the family, but hopes they would return home were dashed on Thursday when the Federal Circuit Court dismissed their appeal.

The family have 21 days to appeal Thursday’s ruling and had started the process of doing so when they were issued with deportation notices.

Justice Murphy on Monday restrained immigration authorities from removing Priya and her eldest daughter until their appeal is finalised.

A date for their appeal is yet to be fixed.

Outside court, Home to Bilo campaign spokeswoman Simone Cameron said Nadesalingam and the couple’s one-year-old baby daughter Tharunicaa still face the risk of deportation since the injunction applies only to Priya and Kopika. (Colombo Gazette)

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