Australian minister slams SL asylum seeker family for ’wasting $10m of taxpayer money’

23 July 2020 04:13 pm - 16     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has told a Sri Lankan family fighting deportation from Australia to give up and go home.

The minister said the family-of-four, who are detained on Christmas Island, has cost the taxpayer $10million which could have been spent on Australians.

Priya and Nades Murugappan came to Australia by boat separately in 2012 and 2013, alleging they were escaping the Sri Lankan civil war. 
They settled in Biloela, Queensland and had two daughters, Kopika, four, and Tharunicaa, two.

They have applied for asylum but the government does not believe they are refugees and wants to deport them. 

However, several court orders have barred the government from sending them home, meaning they are stuck in limbo on Christmas Island. 

Speaking on Sydney radio 2GB today, Mr Dutton said the family should stop fighting.

'This case has gone on since 2012 I think, and it must have cost now… probably over $10 million,' he said.

'That's money that should be going into... communities and helping Australian citizens. 

'They are not refugees and they have used every trick in the book to make sure they can stay.

'This is a situation of their own making, it is ridiculous, it's unfair on their children, and it sends a very bad message to other people who think that they can rort the system as well.' 

The family was moved to Christmas Island in August 2019. The couple said they feared persecution back in Sri Lanka, having fled during the civil war. 

The children are considered an 'unauthorised maritime arrival' by authorities, despite being born in Australia.

Normally, holding this status means a person does not have the right to apply for a visa - unless given special permission by the immigration minister.

But the family applied for two-year-old Tharunicaa to get a protection visa.
The government rejected the application, but in a landmark decision in April, the court ruled the toddler's case had not been treated fairly.

Federal Court Justice Mark Moshinsky said Tharunicaa's request to apply for a visa was rejected without being properly assessed. 

This meant the family could not be sent home because a court injunction last year prevented their deportation to Sri Lanka until legal proceedings were finalised. 

The other three family members have had their refugee applications rejected. 

The family will be held on Christmas Island while their case continues. 

Mr Murugappan has claimed he will be persecuted in Sri Lanka because he was forced to join the militant group Tamil Tigers in 2001 and was harassed by the Sri Lankan military.

The Immigration Assessment Authority rejected the claims on the basis he frequently travelled between Sri Lanka, Kuwait and Qatar for work between 2004 and 2010 during the civil war, something that a Tamil Tigers member would not be allowed to do. (Daily Mail)

  Comments - 16

  • cw Thursday, 23 July 2020 04:32 PM

    I am not a fan of Peter Dutton nor of the Liberal Party. I have never voted Liberal Party in my 28 yrs in OZ. This time I agree 1000% with Peter. These so called Refugees are Pathetic LIARS. Well done Peter Dutton. Keep it up.

    Eng_S Thursday, 23 July 2020 04:42 PM

    What a joke! It's because of idiots like this that all other Sri Lankans are looked upon with suspicion when travelling abroad!

    Sando Thursday, 23 July 2020 04:57 PM

    Appears to be a fraudster. Forces never harassed innocent Civilians. Only the Terrorists were killed.

    sss Thursday, 23 July 2020 05:12 PM

    Lawyers rule in every country sir. In Sri lanka they (with full support of judges) make land cases goes for ever bankrupting poor land owners

    Neil Thursday, 23 July 2020 05:18 PM

    People will try anything to stay in Australia. It is better than US or UK.

    Lone Ranger Thursday, 23 July 2020 05:19 PM

    Yeah don't waste are tax dollars , go back to your country!

    max Thursday, 23 July 2020 05:21 PM

    These bogus refugees should be sent back to their lands of origins.

    sam silva Thursday, 23 July 2020 05:23 PM

    Very true

    silva Thursday, 23 July 2020 05:31 PM

    this minister is so ridiculous, his ancestors also came by boat as unwanted people from england , now he talking fat racism , whats goes around comes around

    keith Thursday, 23 July 2020 05:33 PM

    Let them stay. They are making a contribution.

    Econ-mutt Thursday, 23 July 2020 05:44 PM

    Could have given them $ 1m and saved $ 9m!!!!

    Dee Thursday, 23 July 2020 09:06 PM

    Give them 50%of that cost and pack them off! That's what they are there for!

    Kathir Thursday, 23 July 2020 09:37 PM

    From the beginning the Australian gouvernment should have given one million and sent them back to Sri Lanka.A big burden for Australian people.

    Damian Hayward Friday, 24 July 2020 12:30 PM

    They have suffered enough Australia in the days of Mr Malcolm Frazer was a compassionate country lets go back to that way of thinking and let this poor family stay

    Lanka Friday, 24 July 2020 12:54 PM

    If he is proven not to be a terrorist then might as well give him citizenship. And if he is a terrorist should be deported rather than giving asylum.

    Betty Potter Monday, 27 July 2020 09:45 AM

    They should definitely be sent back. The trouble here is that.they want all the benefits. If the Government had the guts to say that any illegal migrant who manages to get to live here will NEVER be given citizenship, or any benefits, they will soon not WANT to come.


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