Sri Lankan Tamil family on Christmas Island temporarily released

A Sri Lankan Tamil family detained on Christmas Island in Australia has been temporarily released, AL Jazeera reported

Australia says it will allow a Tamil family of four to leave immigration detention on remote Christmas Island, but instead of allowing them to return to their home in Queensland will place them into “community detention” in the western city of Perth, some 4,000 kilometres (2,485 miles) away.

The Murugappans, whose two children were born in Australia, were sent to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, after the asylum claims of parents Nades and Priya were rejected, and while the courts considered their legal appeals and the situation of their youngest daughter, Tharunicca.

Their plight was thrust into the spotlight again last week after the three-year-old had to be medically evacuated to a Perth hospital because of a serious blood infection thought to have developed as a result of pneumonia that had been left untreated.

Immigration minister Alex Hawke, who did not mention the family by name, said that in making his decision he was “balancing the government’s ongoing commitment to strong border protection policies with appropriate compassion in circumstances involving children in held detention”.

Angela Fredericks, a friend of the Murugappans who has been leading the campaign for their return, said that while news the family would be reunited was welcome, they should be allowed to return to Biloela.

“Community detention is no guarantee of safety and peace for this family,” Fredericks said in a statement. “Nades is keen to get back work in Biloela to support his young family, Priya wants to enrol Kopika at Biloela State School to continue her education, and we promised little Tharni a big birthday party when she got home. Australia knows this family’s home is in Biloela.”

The family of four was suddenly removed from their home in an early morning raid by immigration officials in March 2018, and sent to an immigration detention centre in Melbourne, Australia’s second-biggest city. Their case prompted a nationwide outcry in a country notorious for its hardline approach to asylum seekers and refugees, sending thousands who tried to arrive by sea to “offshore processing centres” and telling them they will never be allowed to settle in the country.

Nadesalingam and Priya, who are Tamils from Sri Lanka, arrived separately by boat in 2012 and 2013, and sought asylum. They met and married in Australia, but were detained after Priya’s visa expired.

“The government would not be removing the family from detention this week if Tharunicca hadn’t become seriously ill,” the University of Canberra’s Michelle Grattan wrote in the Conversation. “To the extent the government is exercising compassion now, it is compassion driven by the bad publicity it is suffering.”

Writing on Twitter, opposition leader Antony Albanese recalled visiting Biloela in 2019 and the community’s love for the young family, “It was clear to me that this family should be allowed to go HomeToBilo. Let’s just get it done.” he said.

The state premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk also showed her support for the family.

“It’s a long way from Biloela where their friends and neighbours have campaigned for so many years for their freedom,” she said in a statement. “Biloela is a community of 6,000. Everyone knows each other and looks after each other. I look forward to the day when the family can home to Bilo.”

In October 2019, the United Nations requested that Australia allow the family to stay and gave the government 30 days to comply.

Last week, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said the government was looking at “resettlement options” for the family, but in a third country rather than Australia.

Although born in Australia, Tharunicca and Kopika, do not have the right to Australian citizenship by birth.

An attempt to deport the family was made in August 2019 after their asylum applications were rejected, but a Federal Court judge granted a last-minute injunction forcing their plane, which was en route to Sri Lanka, to land in Darwin. Their legal action continues.


  1. Fortunately, this particular Tamil family’s hardships have been exposed. However, the Australian government has been successful in covering up my hardships as a writer. I spent most of my time in libraries, but I drive a 19 years old car. Impossible for me to get a professional job to rent an apartment. I am poorer than Sri Lankan politicians who didn’t even pass GCE O/L. Somehow the Australian political elites think that they are extremely clever in fooling the world. On the other hand the CCP leaders are completely ignoring what I have learned from the West. From the Australian political elites to the CCP leaders are adamantly ignoring the reality. This is the reason I believe that a nuclear war is inevitable. China is fully focusing on making money and expanding its BRI. It is not interested in occupying the moral high ground by exposing the West’s, double standards, especially the Americans’ Australians’, and Canadians’ genocides in North America and Australasia. Plus China is not interested to educate the people of Hong Kong and Taiwan about Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and my struggles as a writer.

    The US chased out Iraqi troops from Kuwait when Iraq invaded Kuwait. My question is, why the USSR had failed to occupy the moral high ground and did not chase out the British when Great Britain invaded North America and Australasia? Especially when convicts invaded Australia. Even the former superpower Soviet Union had failed to expose the West’s genocides. Did the USSR turn a blind eye to the Great Britain atrocities to keep the white supremacy? Perhaps the USSR’s leaders’ ignorance had caused the Soviet Union to collapse. In fact, the USSR’s failure made the Americans to successfully occupy the moral high ground to trick the world to achieve their ulterior motives, in order to rule the world. The ability to systematically occupying the moral high ground is the Americans’ greatest asset and it is paying off well. Eventually, China will be frustrated with the Americans’ strategy and start a nuclear war. This is a disaster for the humanity and world, especially for India, Australia and Japan. The Americans may protect their world dominant power at the expense of Indians, Australians and Japanese, because China is not playing wisely.

    I cannot wait to be in Russia and ask the following question to the Russian people and their polical elites.

    How the people who don’t even live on their own country became the superpower?

    How the adverse policy makers became the superpower who destroy the world’s environment and devalue humanity by deliberately encouraging uncontrollable populations in the the developing countries to keep the poverty?

    How the people who killed far more than Hitler became the greatest preachers of democracy and human rights to occupy the moral high ground to rule the world?

    The day I land in Russia, the Australian political elites and their allies will hang their heads in shame. The Australian political elites would destroy anyone whoever exposes their rapes inside of the Parliament House or the First Australians’ hardships. I am screwed more than Brittany Higgins, But I am wise enough to enlighten the world. The supremacists’ extraordinary power will be relegated in the 21st century. The way Australian political elites use uninformed and uneducated South Asians to keep me in isolation is sickening. The West encourages uncontrollable populations to have an extraordinary power. The uncontrollable population creates poverty and lack of knowledge, it makes the developing countries to be dependent on the West and it enables the West to buy uninformed poor South Asians to undermine intellectuals. South Asians have been insulting Gandhi and following the West blindly. The West gave enormous hardships to Gandhi, Martin Luther King Junior and Nelson Mandela in their own country where they were born, how much the West would make me to suffer in a country where I wasn’t born? It is really unfortunate that the Tamil leaders have ignored my knowledge and ended up in a disaster. South Asians who ignore people like me will continue struggle, the current COVID 19 crisis is a perfect example for South Asia’s future.

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