$100k to safeguard Tamil family’s future
SUPPORTERS have raised almost $100,000 in five days to help try to safeguard the future of a Sri-Lankan family fighting to remain in Australia.
With the Tamil family’s fate yet to be decided following an extended court injunction last week preventing their deportation from Australia, Home to Bilo campaigners are preparing for any eventuality.
Campaign leader and family friend Angela Fredericks has just returned from visiting the family in detention on Christmas Island and set up a Go Fund Me page in case the family’s submission fails.
Their case rests on whether two-year-old Australian-born Tharunicaa has a right to apply for a protection visa amid claims she would be subjected to “seroius harm” if returned to Sri Lanka.
“If it doesn’t go to plan and they end up back in Sri Lanka we need to make sure they have human rights lawyers on the ground,” Ms Fredericks said.
“We also need to safeguard against the Government currently using the line of they can reapply and come back, however there will be a significant bill the Government will serve the family.
“It’s to start safeguarding against that debt.”
Ms Fredericks paid an emotional visit to the Tamil family who have been housed at the Christmas Island Detention Centre now for over a week.
She said while it was “amazing” to see the family in person, the high degree of uncertainty surrounding their future was taking a toll.
“They’re very distressed with everything that’s going on, they’re quite exhausted,” Ms Fredericks said.
“Priya said she’s heartbroken that she’s separated from her Biloela family.
“The girls, particularly Kopika said she hates it there and misses her friends.”
The nationwide love and support means a great deal to Ms Fredericks and the family as they continue their fight to return to Biloela.
“This couple are incredibly resilient,” Ms Fredericks said.
“We have to remember they’ve lived through a horrific war.
“It really is them knowing they’re loved and not alone, that’s what is keeping them going.
“And that’s why I flew to Christmas Island because I will never let them be alone.”
A hearing has been scheduled for September 18, with the injunction preventing the youngest daughter’s removal extended until 4pm that day.
Dramatic scenes unfolded last week when the flight the family was on under order of deportation took off from Melbourne, only to be instructed to land in Darwin when their lawyer obtained an injunction blocking the removal. They have since been on Christmas Island.
Prior to that, the family had spent 18 months in detention in Melbourne after being taken from their home in Biloela by immigration officers in a raid.
To donate to the Go Fund Me Page visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/hometobilo