Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has sparked controversy with an innocent photo of his Saturday night kitchen creations.
The Prime Minister shared a series of snaps of a Sri Lankan lamb baduma with godamba rotis he cooked up at The Lodge in Canberra.
‘Girls and Jen loved it,’ he wrote of his wife Jennifer and daughters Abbey, 12, and Lily, 10, whom he cooks curries for every weekend.
‘Still thinking of everyone in Melbourne. Hope you’re finding ways to make the best of it in lockdown. You’ve turned the corner.’
The weekly insight into his family life is a benign attempt to humanise the national leader, but is frequently hijacked by politics.
Mr Morrison’s choice of a Sri Lankan dish quickly drew comparisons to a Tamil family who have spent the past two years in immigration detention.
Priya and Nades Murugappan and their two young daughters lived in the small Queensland town of Biloela where they were beloved by locals.
Left-wing activist and Change.org director Sally Ruggs pointed out that the same curry Mr Morrison made for his family was a staple of the Murugappan household.
‘Before the Morrison Government raided her house before sunrise, bundled her husband and babies in separate vans and detained them for the last 2.5 years, Priya would make Sri Lankan curries – the homeland she was forced to flee from – for the local hospital staff,’ she wrote on Twitter.
Instead of feeding beleaguered health workers during the pandemic, they are the only people detained on Christmas Island at a cost of $20,000 a day.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton wants them to go back to Sri Lanka – where they fear persecution – and claims the parents are being ‘unfair on their children’ for fighting deportation.
He also accuses them of ‘wasting’ $10 million of public money in court costs and detention fees.
‘This case has gone on since 2012 I think, and it must have cost now… probably over $10 million,’ he told 2GB radio last month.
‘That’s money that should be going into… communities and helping Australian citizens.
‘They are not refugees and they have used every trick in the book to make sure they can stay.
‘This is a situation of their own making, it is ridiculous, it’s unfair on their children, and it sends a very bad message to other people who think that they can rort the system as well.’
Their lawyer Carina Ford said it was actually Mr Dutton who was costing the taxpayer by refusing to let the family come back to the mainland while their case is pending.
‘Can you justify spending this amount of money on keeping a detention centre open that no-one else is using?’ she told Daily Mail Australia last month.
‘I don’t think you can. Maybe that’s something the government can re-consider.’
Mr Murugappan was gainfully employed at the local abattoir and the family was not receiving any significant welfare benefits while living in Biloela.
Priya was last month flow to hospital in Perth to be treated for severe abdominal pain, as she needed a CT scan which doctors could not carry out on Christmas Island.
Refugee advocates claimed she was told she would be returned to the detention centre after being monitored for two additional days in a hotel.
However, Tamil Refugee Council spokesman Aran Mylvaganam said she wasinstead forcibly removed from the hospital two days earlier by as many as 15 Border Force personnel, and flown back to Christmas Island. (Courtesy Daily Mail)