Biloela refugee family held by Liberal government for four years wishes Scott Morrison ‘a good life’

In their first TV interview since being released from four years of detention, the Biloela refugee family sent a strong message to the former prime minister.

Her children were held in a solitary detention center for four years, but as far as Priya Murugappan is concerned, there is no resentment towards Scott Morrison.

Speak with The Sunday Project Host Lisa Wilkinson in the family’s first interview since moving to their new home in Queensland’s Biloela town, Priya said she just wanted to look forward to her family’s happy future on Australian soil.

Asked if she had a message for former Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former Immigration Secretary Peter Dutton, who have fought for so long to keep them in detention on Christmas Island, she said: “I wish his life was a good one, but I’m doing it.” not.” do not worry.”

Wilkinson replied, “You wish Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton a good life?”
“Yes, a good life,” Priya replied.

There was hardly a dry eye at the airport and the family were VIPs at Biloela’s multicultural festival on Saturday, where they were cheered on after returning home.

Priya and Nades Murugappan and their two Australian-born daughters Kopika, seven, and Tharnicaa, five, are getting bridging visas so they can live in Biloela while they work to resolve their immigration status.

A change in the Labor government has allowed them to come home to the rural community of Queensland, which has supported them through their ordeal.

Interim Home Secretary Jim Chalmers confirmed that he had used his ministerial powers to intervene in the family’s case so that they could return to the city in central Queensland, where they lived until March 2018.

dr. Chalmers said he spoke to the family and wished them well on their return.

“This decision allows them to come ‘home’ to Bilo, a warm and welcoming Queensland town that has embraced this beautiful family,” he said.

dr. Chalmers said the Albanian Labor government remains committed to Operation Sovereign Borders and deterring people smugglers.

Growing up in the media spotlight

Tamil asylum seekers Priya and Nades arrived in Australia by boat from Sri Lanka ten years ago during the civil war and settled in Biloela after being granted bridging visas.

They lived and worked in the city until their visas expired and they were removed from their home.

They were eventually sent to Christmas Island along with Kopika and Tharnicaa in August 2019, where they became the only residents of the detention center there.

They were in the media for years after Tharni became seriously ill with a blood infection and was flown to Perth Children’s Hospital for urgent medical care.

What does she remember? “My sister took care of me,” she said shyly.

But thanks to the support of the small cattle and mining town of Biloela, affectionately known as ‘Bilo’, in rural Queensland, they are now home.

The city’s mayor, Nev Ferrier, agreed that not all residents were happy with the family’s return, saying people were concerned “all the boats will come back and we’ll have to deal with that stuff, people dying.” at sea”.

“Nobody wants to see that. Anyone with a heart or who knows the family knows what it’s not about,” he said.

Wilkinson asked the family: “Do you think your story will encourage other potential refugees in Sri Lanka to get on boats to Australia?

“No,” said Priya. “No.”

“This life is very difficult,” Nades added.

Resident Angela Fredericks said: “If people are in danger, they will find a way to flee and they will find a way to protect their families.

“There is no queue. You know, eventually people are just going to do what they have to do to stay alive. There is no queue

“There is no orderly fashion in this. It’s about life or death.”

What do the children remember of their ordeal?

With her soft and gentle voice, Kopi says she remembers Christmas Island.

Detaining this family for four years has cost the Australian taxpayer $30 million.

Both girls say they want to become doctors in the future so that they can “help people and give medicine”.

Wilkinson asked Priya and Nades what they remembered from detention.

“A lonely feeling. No other inmate… my children’s childhood lost, my beauty, my everything lost in four years,” Priya said.

Throughout it all, ‘Bilo’ and his army of supporters fought in the courts and staged protests in the streets to help this family home.

The odds were always against them, but this city stood up for them in a tireless campaign.

Wilkinson said, “As one resident told me, don’t ‘muck’ with Biloela people.”

Friend Bronwyn Dendle said she thought the city was the little engine that could do that. “We think we can do it, we think we can,” she said.

It turned out that they really could.

Biloela resident Angela Fredericks added: “We saw Priya and Nades as people, they weren’t refugees, they were one of us and so I think in every community in Australia we embrace people. I like to think that’s Australia.”

– With NewsWire

Read related topics:Scott Morrison

Leave a Comment