Asylum seeker given mental health treatment before death

UPDATE 11AM: JUST a day before 29-year-old Leo Seemanpillai took his own life, the Tamil asylum seeker was visited by counsellors.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told reporters on Monday the death of Mr Seemanpillai - who on Saturday died having suffered burns to 90% of his body in Geelong - was a "very sad, very terrible incident".

Mr Morrison said he had spoken to his department, and was assured Mr Seemanpillai was not given any word on being moved offshore or indeed, that his application for asylum would be successful.

Tamil asylum seeker Leo Seemanpillai. Photo: Combined Refugee Action Group
Tamil asylum seeker Leo Seemanpillai. Photo: Combined Refugee Action Group

Tamil Refugee Council advocates have told how Mr Seemanpillai was understood to have doused himself with petrol from a soft drink bottle before setting himself alight. 

Mr Morrison said Mr Seemanpillai was receiving fortnightly community mental health treatment but the amount of services available for those on temporary protection visas, and in the community, would be reviewed.



A GEELONG man on a temporary visa has died after suffering burns to 90% of his body.

At a press conference on Sunday, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the man's family were yet to be contacted by authorities.

It was not known how the burns occurred and Mr Morrison would not discuss whether it was an act of self-harm.

Mr Morrison described the man as "an illegal maritime" arrival.

He arrived in Darwin in January last year and was able to apply for a protection visa directly under the former government's legislation.