KEEP FIGHITNG: Alan Fredericks, Craig Foster, Angela Fredericks, Marie Austin and Margot Plant were in Minister for Immigration David Coleman's electoral office handing over a petition for the Biloela Tamil refugees to remain in Australia.
KEEP FIGHITNG: Alan Fredericks, Craig Foster, Angela Fredericks, Marie Austin and Margot Plant were in Minister for Immigration David Coleman's electoral office handing over a petition for the Biloela Tamil refugees to remain in Australia. Contributed

Fight for Tamil refugee family goes on

SUPPORTERS of the Tamil family facing deportation vow to keep fighting for their release despite the outcome of the recent federal election.

Biloela advocate Angela Fredericks said even with the possiblity of changes in any cabinet reshuffle and a change in ministerial portfolios, the group would keep fighting for the family's release.

"We are going to continue with what we are doing and work with the Immigration department to gain their release,” Angela said.

"Obviously the cabinet could be reshuffled and there might be a new immigration minister.”

Before the federal election the advocacy group was lobbying then Minister for Immigration David Coleman for the family's release.

Priya and Nades and their daughters Kopika, 4, and Tharunicaa, 2 have been in a Melbourne detention centre for 15 months after Australian Border Force raided their Biloela home.

Recently the High Court refused Priya and Kopika's special leave application to appeal last year's Federal Court ruling that they could not stay in Australia.

The couple came to Australia separately by boat in 2012 and 2013 following the Sri Lankan civil war.

They married and had two children in Biloela, where Nades worked at the local meatworks.

The refugee support group has been buoyed after former Socceroo (Australian Football) and SBS sports commentator Craig Foster joined the Tamils' cause.

"To have such a high profile humanitarian advocate helping the community and raising awareness of their issue has been very much welcomed,” Angela said

Foster played 29 games for Australia and now works towards human rights advocacy.

He recently campaigned for Bahraini footballer Hakeen al-Araibi.

The footballer was detained in Thailand in November 2018 while on honeymoon with wife after an Interpol red notice was put out by Bahrain.

Al-Araibi had been granted political refugee protection in Australia during 2014 and Foster worked hard for the detained footballer's release.

Many politicians, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison praised Foster for his efforts.

He was present with Fredericks when they handed 190,000 plus signatures to then Immigration Minister, David Coleman's electoral office.

"Our fight has been they are our people and they worked hard and were a part of our community,” Angela said.

"Our politicians are elected to represent the people and now we have currently 193,000 signatures asking for the release of this family.

"Scott Morrison in his election speech spoke about believing in miracles happening and it would be a great one for us if the family was released back to our community.”


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