Australia PM denies public sentiment about Sri Lanka asylum seekers' deportation

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-05 14:02:29|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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CANBERRA, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he will not chase public sentiment by allowing a Tamil family facing deportation to remain in Australia.

Morrison on Wednesday night dismissed the pleas to let the family stay as "public sentiment."

"It's about doing the right thing by the national interest. It's not about chasing public sentiment," he told Nine Entertainment newspapers.

"I understand absolutely the motivation and the compassion that Australians have expressed in relation to this case. But I also know from bitter experience that if you make the wrong calls on these issues, then you invite tragedy and you invite chaos."

The couple, Priya and Nadesalingam, fled Sri Lanka civil war and arrived Australia in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Both of them have applied for refugee status but have been denied by all levels of Australia's legal system.

The Opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP), conservative commentators and even members of the governing Liberal-National party (LNP) coalition called on Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to intervene in the case and let the family stay.

Thousands of people rallied around the country on Sunday protesting their impending deportation.

The Australian Border Force (ABF) put the family on a plane to deport after holding them in detention for over a year late in August but were foiled by a last-minute injunction.

Since the injunction they have been detained in a detention center on Christmas Island.

"I don't have any family (in Sri Lanka), only my husband's family," said Priya, according to The Guardian on Thursday. "It's not going to be a safe place for our family there."

The Federal Court will on Friday decide whether the Sri Lankan couple and their two Australian-born daughters will be allowed to stay in Australia.