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Wednesday, 14 March 2018 - 10:58
SL Tamil asylum seeker family 'whisked away' for deportation in Australia
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A candlelight vigil will be held in central Queensland tonight for a Tamil asylum seeker family about to be deported to Sri Lanka after being denied refugee status.
 
The couple had been living and working in Biloela for about three years and were last week removed from their home at dawn by Australian Border Force officers.
 
Nadesalingam and Priya and their two Australian born daughters, aged two years and nine months, were taken into custody and remain in a Melbourne detention centre.
 
Their deportation is understood to be imminent.
 
But the Biloela community is refusing to give up and have garnered support for the family from across the nation.
 
Local resident and social worker Angela Fredericks said she counselled Priya after the couple's arrival in Biloela and is leading the call for them to be allowed to remain in Australia.
 
Consultant paediatrician Elizabeth Elliott, who has visited the Christmas Island detention centre in 2014, explains what conditions are like for child detainees.
 
She started an online petition which now has more than 55,000 signatures.
 
Fredericks said Priya is a beautiful person.
 
"She is just so loving and caring, so considerate of other people," she said.
 
"She is all about everyone else, even to the point she'd bring curries up to the hospital for local doctors."
 
The Tamil Refugee Council which has been advocating for the family have declined to comment further on advice from lawyers.
 
Simon Bruck, a senior solicitor with the Refugee Advice Casework Service, said the family was reportedly without legal representation through their application and appeals process.

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