Australia issues bridging visas to Sri Lankan Tamil family

A Sri Lankan Tamil family that has spent years in offshore detention has been issued bridging visas that will allow them to work and study on the Australian mainland.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke announced he had issued the Murugappan family with three-month bridging visas.

The decision comes after the Murugappan family was recently moved into community detention in Perth, where youngest child Tharnicaa has been receiving medical treatment.

“This decision allows three members of the family to reside in the Perth community on bridging visas while the youngest child’s medical care, and the family’s legal matters, are ongoing,” he said in a statement.

“The fourth family member’s visa status is unchanged.

“The family will continue to have access to health care, support services, housing and schooling in the Perth community.”

The Murugappans had settled in the Queensland town of Biloela but were removed in 2018 after a court found they were not owed protection.

Wednesday’s decision by the minister allows the two parents to work and study in Perth.

The Murugappan family has spent years fighting deportation to Sri Lanka, after they were found not to be owed protection in Australia.

Supporters have been urging the federal government to allow the family to return to the Queensland town of Biloela, where they had been living before being placed in immigration detention in 2018.

Four-year-old Tharnicaa was recently released from hospital after being medically evacuated from Christmas Island to Perth with a blood infection.

Family friend Angela Fredericks questioned why Tharnicaa had not been granted a bridging visa like the other members of her family, saying it meant the family could not leave Perth.

“While we welcome Priya, Nades, and Kopika being granted bridging visas, we wonder what precisely is the minister’s objective in denying little Tharni one,” she said in a statement released by

“This family must stay together, and they need to be back in Biloela as soon as humanly possible.”

The visas do not guarantee the family will be allowed to stay in the country long term.

Shadow Home Affairs Minister Kristina Keneally said she hoped the decision was the “next step” towards allowing the family to return permanently to Biloela.

“Australians will welcome the news today that the minister is personally intervening in the Biloela family’s case and using his ministerial discretion to grant bridging visas to Nades, Priya and Kopika,” she said.

“It’s welcome that the family is not under those strict detention conditions. Nonetheless, they are not able to travel to Biloela, whilst the minister is maintaining that Tharni must stay in Perth.” (Courtesy ABC News)


  1. Currently, a Tamil family’s hardships have been exposed by the Australian political elites and media to deter people from coming to Australia illegally. However, they have been covering up my hardships as a writer. I have been making awareness of the Aboriginal Australians’ and refugees’ hardships. I am constantly isolated by the government’s disinformation. The Australian political elites have been destroying me because of my ethnic background. But I am wise and talented enough to enlighten the world, especially the developing countries. Between 2003 and 2008, I have lifted awareness of the reality of the Australian outback while Australia was fighting in Iraq. In 2008, the Australian Government deleted my citizenship without a legal proceeding to leave me out on the street for making awareness of the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander People’s and refugees’ hardships. I could not even defend my case through a lawyer, because the government hoodwinked the entire country. When I reached out to the international community the government silently reinstated my citizenship without an explanation or apology.

    Thirteen years have gone, but justice has not been served. Since 2008, I have been spending Christmases, and my birthdays on my own because of the government’s isolation tactic based on disinformation. I have an Australian business degree and postgraduate education in human resources management. On top of that, I have read hundreds of books to expand my knowledge in world history, human development, the global economy, and international affairs. But impossible for me to get a professional job or rent an apartment. The security guards are constantly following the Tamil family wherever they go. Similarly, wherever I go the politicians’ hidden hand so-called ‘intelligence officers’ follow me and spread disinformation to keep me in isolation. On top of that, the government is constantly monitoring my emails and phone calls to keep me in isolation by blocking some of my emails and phone calls; if these emails and phone calls are deemed to be inappropriate to the government’s isolation tactics. I do not have a criminal record but I am in isolation because good people do not speak up.

    The Australian Government has everything within its disposal to undermine my credibility. I am aware of my opponents. I have developed my knowledge to fight a good fight, at the same time I am aware of the risks that I am taking. Everything was taken from me due to my writings. I was living in shared accommodation and ended up having coronavirus in July 2020. I wrote two letters to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and sent those letters through registered post. However, no reply from the Prime Minister’s office, notably the government is too busy fear-mongering the public about me. However, nothing will stop me from doing noble things.

    “I do not focus on the hardships that I face due to the actions that I have taken, but only on my hope and dream that the injustice will turn to justice.” ― Antany Peter ―

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