Australia: Candlelight vigil in support of hospitalised Tamil refugee kid

Western Australia: Home to Bilo group and Refugee Rights Action Network hosted a silent candlelight vigil in front of the Perth Children’s Hospital to support Tharnicaa, a three-year-old Tamil refugee kid and the healthcare workers caring for her.

Tharnicaa, the youngest child of Sri Lankan Tamil refugee couple Priya and Nadesalingam, has recently been medically evacuated from Christmas Island to Perth, Western Australia.

Priya and Nadesalingam fled separately from Sri Lanka and sought asylum in Australia by boat in 2013 and 2012. They both fled to Australia fearing persecution by Sri Lankan authorities following a bloody civil war due to their links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). They had got temporary protection visas in Australia, later they met, got married and had two children.

As their family’s temporary visa expired in 2018, they were arrested with the plan of deportation to Sri Lanka. But, it has failed due to the widespread campaign in support of this family. So, in 2019, they moved to Christmas Island detention centre, some 3,000 kilometres away from Australia.

The media reports say that Tharnicaa has been unwell with vomiting, diarrhoea and dizziness for ten days. Later, she hospitalised on Christmas Island with a suspected blood infection (sepsis).

“With her sister Kopika, Queensland born Tharni is one of only two children remaining in immigration detention in Australia. She is turning four on Saturday but has spent 80% of her life in detention. She has never been separated from her Dad Nades or sister Kopika before,” the vigil event introduction explains.

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