Jones slams Dutton over family’s ‘disgraceful’ treatment

Radio heavyweight Alan Jones has slammed the Australian government's treatment of an asylum seeker family as "beyond disgraceful" while asking the prime minister to practise some "practical Christianity".

Mr Jones' comments follow impassioned pleas from protestors calling on the government to save the Tamil family from deportation.

Priya and Nadesalingam came to Australia separately by boat in 2012 and 2013 and their daughters Kopika, 4, and Tharunicaa, 2, were born in Australia.

The granting of a late Federal Court appeal saved them from being deported last week and the family is now in detention on Christmas Island.

Broadcaster Alan Jones has slammed the government’s handling of the Tamil family who have live in Australia for five years. Picture: Richard Dobson
Broadcaster Alan Jones has slammed the government’s handling of the Tamil family who have live in Australia for five years. Picture: Richard Dobson

Mr Jones has come out in defence of the family despite Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's explanation to Newscorp Australia that the asylum seeker threat was "very real" and the family had to go.

Mr Jones revealed he had written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison asking for some "practical Christianity" while slamming Mr Dutton's behaviour.

"I find the government's behaviour on this, and that of Peter Dutton, beyond disgraceful. Is this the same Peter Dutton, and Immigration Minister David Coleman, who personally intervened last year to stop two Au pairs who were to be deported," Mr Jones 2GB listeners.

"The former deputy secretary of the immigration department is on the record as saying, in the last 72 hours, it is quite clear that if you look at the ministerial guidelines this case meets those guidelines more clearly than the two au pair cases, in which Minister Dutton acted within hours.

Tamil asylum seekers Nadesalingnam, wife Priya, and their Australian-born daughters Dharuniga and Kopiga.
Tamil asylum seekers Nadesalingnam, wife Priya, and their Australian-born daughters Dharuniga and Kopiga.

"Ministerial intervention powers are designed to cater to where a person's not met the legal requirement for a visa but because of humanitarian or national interest grounds the government intervenes."

Thousands of Australians protested over the weekend in a bid to urge the government to release the family from detention.

Lawyers for the family said they were moved from Darwin to the Christmas Island detention centre in the early hours of Saturday morning.

This is where the mother, Priya, allegedly sustained heavy bruising on her arms. She also has a blood pressure condition and said she was not receiving medication while at the facility.

Senator Kristina Keneally speaks to the the crowd during the Let Them Stay! emergency rally at Martin Place in Sydney. Picture: AAP Image
Senator Kristina Keneally speaks to the the crowd during the Let Them Stay! emergency rally at Martin Place in Sydney. Picture: AAP Image

Mr Dutton told Newscorp Australia the Tamil family were not refugees and had to be deported.

"In every case the detail is scrutinised and on compassionate grounds yearly we help literally thousands of people including the primary applicant as well as their family members," Mr Dutton said.

"The case of the family from Sri Lanka is also a complex case and has attracted a lot of media attention with many false claims by refugee advocates and Labor opportunists.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has refused to back down on a decision to deport the family. Picture: AAP
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has refused to back down on a decision to deport the family. Picture: AAP

"Labor initially put them into detention and they were told all those years ago that, on the details they provided, they were not refugees under the UN definition so they would have to go home.

"They have gone on to appeal to the Federal Magistrates Court, the Federal Court and the High Court, costing the Australian taxpayers millions of dollars.

"They have explained their circumstance to every decision maker and Judge and every one of them has rejected their claim for protection.

"That is that they are not refugees."



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