(Photos provided by HomeToBiloa)
Former community members and friends of the Tamil asylum-seeking family gathered for a dawn vigil at Lions Park in the early hours of 5 March 2021 to mark the three-year anniversary since the family was detained by immigration officers from their home in Biloela. A number of events were held across Australia, including on Christmas Island, on Friday.
According to the spokesperson from the Home to Bilo’ campaign Angela Fredericks, the 5 am vigil symbolised the time that the family was taken, and the park was where around fifty Biloela residents first united to protest against the detention.
In Sydney, Labour politician Kristina Keneally spoke during a vigil in support of the family. "It seems to me the only three people in Australia who are unmoved are (Home Affairs Minister) Peter Dutton, (Prime Minister) Scott Morrison and (Immigration Minister) Alex Hawke," she told the crowd on Friday night.
“It is long past time that Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to use his discretion under the Migration Act and allow the family to return home to Biloela,” Keneally stressed. "Peter Dutton, Alex Hawke and Scott Morrison are simply choosing not to intervene, allowing this cruel and inhumane saga to continue at considerable cost to the taxpayer."
A week ahead of the three-year anniversary, ‘Home to Bilo’ started raising funds to erect three billboards urging Australia's Prime Minister to permit the family’s release from the immigration detention on Christmas Island.
Read more here.