Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Tamil family reveals tragic question to callous cop before being locked up for four years

0

The Tamil mother who recently returned to Australia after four years in detention has revealed that she begged an officer to allow her young daughter to rest on her chest for comfort when they were attacked by dozens of AFP officials – but was refused.

At 5am on March 4, 2018, the Nadesalingam family – mother Priya, father Nades and daughters Tharnicaa and Kopika – heard a loud knock on their door in Biloela, Queensland, where they had lived since 2014.

Nades opened it and was shocked to see what he said, about 50 officers from the Australian Border Force, the police and the private security firm Serco.

Before they knew it, and with no time to pack, they were in two separate vehicles—Priya and the kids in one, Nades in the other—with no idea where they were going.

Priya was held in the back, wedged between officers, while the children in the front were crying, desperate for their mother.

“I was still breastfeeding Tharnicaa and I asked the officers if I could put her on my chest to comfort her,” Priya said. Australian Women’s Weekly

Tharnicaa Nadesalingam (center) celebrates her fifth birthday with her parents Priya and Nades Nadesalingam and her sister Kopika in Biloela, Queensland, Sunday 12 June 2022

Despite her plea, they refused. “I said, ‘What have I done to deserve this? Are you human? Do you have children?'”

Priya said a female cop told her this was “not for you to ask” and that baby Tharnicaa would eventually go to sleep.

But she didn’t. She was hysterical throughout the 90 minute journey to what turned out to be Gladstone Airport.

“Even today, the question in my head is, ‘Why were we treated this way?'” Priya said. ‘I still don’t have an answer. Why did they need so many security people? Why did they separate us from our children?’

What followed for the family was four years of a bureaucratic nightmare during which they moved first to the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation and then two years as the sole residents of the Christmas Island detention center.

Just to keep them on Christmas Island cost the Australian taxpayer an estimated $6.7 million.

‘What happened to me in Sri Lanka, at least happened in a war. Here in Australia there is no war. This was like a silent war,’ said Priya.

Before being detained on Christmas Island, they were twice nearly deported to Sri Lanka, from where Nades and Priya came separately to Australia by boat to seek asylum because of the dire situation for Tamils ​​after the 26-year civil war in the country.

Isabelle Kelleher, a supporter of the Nadesalingam family, holds a welcome sign as they arrive at Thangool Airport on June 10, 2022 near Biloela, Australia

Isabelle Kelleher, a supporter of the Nadesalingam family, holds a welcome sign as they arrive at Thangool Airport on June 10, 2022 near Biloela, Australia

Priya and Nades Nadesalingam (above) waved as they got off the plane at Thangool Aerodrome

Priya and Nades Nadesalingam (above) waved as they got off the plane at Thangool Aerodrome

They were saved from deportation both times by last-minute orders from their lawyers when the departing plane was already in the air.

The locals in Biloela also took on the family’s business and made sure everyone was aware of it.

The campaign was led by two social workers, Bronwyn Dendle and Angela Fredericks.

They gathered other local residents, started a petition on change.org (which has nearly 600,000 signatures), reached out to the media, funded crowdfunding, started the #HomeToBilo movement and continued as Australians took the family to their hearts. .

Excited locals sang 'Happy Birthday' as they celebrated Tharni's first birthday in Biloela

Excited locals sang ‘Happy Birthday’ as they celebrated Tharni’s first birthday in Biloela

“Bilo is a very traditional country town in Queensland,” Angela said. “It’s conservative, it votes National… But it’s also a really multicultural community and we have that small town where we stand up for each other.”

In May 2021, Tharnicaa contracted pneumonia and blood poisoning on Christmas Island. It took two weeks for authorities to recognize that she had to be taken to Perth, 2,600 km away, for treatment.

In Perth, Tharnicaa recovered and the family’s wait continued until it appeared that Labor’s victory in last month’s election was their best chance of returning to Biloela.

Peter Dutton had repeatedly stated that they were not real refugees and had referred to Kopika and Tharnicaa as ‘anchor babies’, as if they had been taken in so that the family could stay in Australia.

“Oh my God, everyone just has the biggest grin on their face,” said social worker and Biloela local Angela Fredericks

When the election results were confirmed on Saturday evening, May 21, Ms. Fredericks Priya from Biloela. Nades, who works as a cook six days a week, was at work.

“You’re coming home to Bilo!” Angela told her.

Priya burst into tears and her daughters comforted her, assuming this was more bad news. Angela told them that their mother’s tears were tears of joy.

Nades and Priya, both 45, Tharnicaa, 5, and Kopika, 7, are now back at home in Biloela, six and a half hours northwest of Brisbane.

After being held for four years, he returned to Bilo just in time to celebrate Tharnicaa’s fifth birthday with the locals who never gave up on them.

Balloons, cake and overwhelming joy set the tone as locals gathered on Sunday at a nearby park in Queensland's outback city (photo, Tharni's father Nades Nadesalingam)

Balloons, cake and overwhelming joy set the tone as locals gathered on Sunday at a nearby park in Queensland’s outback city (photo, Tharni’s father Nades Nadesalingam)

She was surrounded by balloons and cake when locals sang “Happy Birthday” to her in a park in Biloela last Sunday.

“Oh my god, everyone just has the biggest grin on their face,” said Mrs. Fredericks.

“When the family arrived and they walked downstairs, the girls were wearing little tiaras and the birthday girl was wearing a sash and they were wearing pretty pink dresses.

“I think for a lot of us when the time comes that this is what we’ve been fighting for, that they can walk to their local park here, you know, have the stereotypical birthday in the park, what we’re doing here.

“So that’s why we did this. This is what we fight for.’

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.