Bring Priya and her beautiful family back home to Biloela, Queensland

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As many of you will have seen, in August 2019 Priya, Nades, and their two daughters were separated by guards, bundled into vans, and forced onto a Skytraders plane bound for Sri Lanka.

At 11pm, Priya was violently carried onto the plane (where her children and husband were already locked) from a van on the tarmac. The plane taxied down the runway, and we thought this was the end. On the ground, the protesters at the airport sobbed in each others arms.

Then, ten minutes later, we got word that a federal court judge intervened after they had taken off and granted an emergency injunction while the plane was still in Australian air space, forcing it to land in Darwin. The family were removed from the plane and are currently in accommodation in Darwin. Then, in the middle of the night the family was transported to Christmas Island. They are the only detainees on the island.

Now, the federal court granted an injunction so that 2-year-old Tharanicaa’s claim to asylum can be re-considered.

The Ministers have the power to step in and let them stay. They could end all this today. Protesting the family’s departure has afforded us a few days to pressure the Home Affairs Minister to intervene and let this family return to their community in Biloela. This family’s fight is now a national priority.

Read on for the full story.

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Priya, Nades and their beautiful little daughters are valuable members of the close-knit rural community of Biloela, in Central Queensland. They have lived here for over three years and are a caring, hardworking family.

One day, this peaceful family were going about their early morning routine. Nades was getting ready to go to his job at the local meatworks and Priya was warming a bottle for the baby.

At 5am, their home was stormed by armed police and Border Force officers. Their seven month old baby and two and a half year old daughters were ripped from their beds. Priya and Nades were told they were being taken to a Melbourne detention centre and given ten minutes to pack up their lives.

Priya and Nades were put into separate vans, driven to Gladstone Airport and flown to a detention centre in Melbourne. Border Force officers told them that if they didn’t sign “voluntary” deportation documents, they would be denied access to a phone, separated and forced back to Sri Lanka.

They begged to be returned to Biloela. But after two days of pressure, they gave in and signed the documents.

This beautiful, gentle family is now being held in a single room by three armed guards.

Priya and Nades were settled in Biloela after fleeing torture and suffering in Sri Lanka. Despite the advice of human right organisations on the ground, our current Government has decided that Sri Lanka is now safe. This is why they are trying to force Priya, Nades and their two beautiful young children back to Sri Lanka.

The life awaiting this family in Sri Lanka is uncertain. In a country that represses Tamil people, and where child brides and child sex trafficking exist, the future of Priya, Nades and their two beautiful daughters is grim.

Our community is not ready to let this family go. They love living and contributing to our society. We want them here. Mr Dutton, please return this family to Biloela, their home, where they are wanted and welcome