Asylum burn victim feared deportation

The victim

The victim

By our reporter

Melbourne: A Sri Lankan asylum seeker, of Tamil origin living in Geelong died of 99 per cent burns June 1 after apparent self- harm. He was on a bridging visa and had come to Darwin via boat last year. He was shifted to the Alferd Hospital where he died.
Talking to the media Immigration Minister Scott Morrison called it a ‘ very serious incident’ and ‘ it is not the first of these incidents that has taken place and it is a matter now of working through the important next steps to ensure all the necessary processes are followed.”
” The department and its Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme provider are working with the hospital and community, with members of the family also to make funeral arrangements and to contact the next of kin none of whom are understood to be in Australia, “he said.
The man, who was aged in his 20s, suffered burns to 99 per cent of his body in a horrific incident in West Fyans Street.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports, “ Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullen said paramedics were called to West Fyans Street in the Geelong suburb of Newtown at 11.38 on Saturday (31st May) morning. Mr Mullen said the man was doused in petrol, which had been ignited, causing ”full thickness” burns to nearly 100 per cent of his body.”
The SMH quoted a Victoria Police spokesman as saying: ”At this stage we believe the injuries were self-inflicted.”
According to the 93.9 Bay FM (Geelong), “Refugee support groups have named the man as Leo Seemanpillai. Friends say Mr Seemanpillai was an honourable man who volunteered in aged care and made contributions to children living in poverty in India.But they say he had grave concerns for his future after two of his friends were recently returned to detention.”
“The Refugee Action Coalition’s Ian Rintoul says we need to change the way people on bridging visas are processed, so this kind of thing doesn’t happens again.” the radio said.

- SAT News Service

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