Tamil Girl Held in Immigration Detention Center Celebrates Virtual Birthday Party

A young Tamil girl who is being held in an island immigration detention center with her family celebrated her birthday with Australian supporters on May 12.

The Sri Lankan family – Nades and Priya, and their two daughters Kopika or Tharunicaa – had been living in Biloela, Queensland, before the Australian government detained them. Storyful reported on a last-minute injunction that stopped their deportation in August last year.

This footage shows supporters wishing five-year-old Kopika a virtual happy birthday on Tuesday evening.

The family’s detention has sparked protests against Australia’s hard-line immigration policies and a petition for the family’s return to Biloela has so far gathered almost 300,000 signatures. The family said they sought asylum because they would face persecution in Sri Lanka as a result of past family links to the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Credit: Home to Bilo via Storyful