Have Thileepan's Safe Haven Enterprise Visa renewed

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Thileepan, a refugee from Sri Lanka, who had arrived in Australia in 2012 later marrying his wife in 2016 and fathering a 10-month-old Australian born daughter, will be stripped away from his family and his daughter permanently. 

Thileepan was taken to immigration detention earlier this year, after his claim for protection was rejected and has subsequently been deported. His wife and daughter have both been granted safe haven enterprise visas (SHEV), so they are allowed to stay in Australia. However, these visas do not allow for family reunion, meaning Thileepan's wife cannot sponsor him to return to Australia. Furthermore, because of her 'well-founded fear of persecution' that the Australian Government has recognised, she cannot return to Sri Lanka to reunite her family. 

There was nothing to distinguish Thileepan's claims for protection to that of his wife and daughter. No 'character' or criminal matters were associated with his case. Yet he is returned to the place where he was kidnapped, beaten, tortured and later dumped on the side of the road till he was later found.  Despite this being a few years ago, UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson reported recently that "the use of torture has been, and remains today, endemic and routine' and that 'entire communities have been stigmatised and targeted for harassment and arbitrary arrest and detention'. 

Australia looks at the USA and their barbaric separation of children in disgust. Families, at their most desperate time of need are fragmented, destroyed and toyed with by Bureaucracies and politicians who have and never will experience the hardship and atrocities and these brave mothers, fathers, sons and daughters have faced. Yet we are cruel enough to do the same.

Mr Turnbull, Mr Dutton and Mrs Golightly, If you have so much a shred of decency and compassion, have Thileepan be reunited with his family in Australia and grant him a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa. Think of your own joys with your children, your fondest memories, now have them taken away as you have done to this innocent man unless you act.



Photograph: Tamil Refugee Council