Tamil asylum seeker deported

Asylum seeker Thileepan Gnaneswaran.

The Tamil Refugee Council has reported that asylum seeker Thileepan Gnaneswaran, who was deported on July 16, separating him from his wife and 10-month-old daughter, was arrested on unknown charges on arrival in Sri Lanka and later released.

His wife and daughter were both granted safe haven enterprise visas on July 11, two days before Gnaneswaran was issued with a removal notice after his claim for protection was rejected. Their separation will almost certainly be permanent as her visa does not allow for family reunion and she cannot return to Sri Lanka.

The case has received international attention after it emerged he was deported in defiance of the United Nations, which had urged the government to uphold international law and allow the family to stay together.