Siva denied asylum

Siva Kumar

Sri Lankan refugee Siva Kumar has had his application for asylum in Australia rejected and with no further legal avenues to explore will be forced to find another country to welcome him.

Siva said despite spending about $80,000 on legal costs the government informed him it was not the right way to apply.

Now on a temporary visa Siva said he was still working hard in his restaurant, Raj Indian Restaurant in Noosaville while he tries to obtain a Sri Lankan passport so that he can apply for asylum in another country such as Canada or New Zealand where he can move with his partner who is Taiwanese and their eight month old daughter.

Siva is hoping he may be able to remain on temporary visa in Australia until the lease on his restaurant runs out next year.

He said it remains unsafe for him to return to live in Sri Lanka.

Siva journeyed to Australia after his brother was murdered and he became a target of a group of people bent on causing him harm during a time of civil unrest in the country.

Siva worked as a chef in Columbo. He moved to another city to avoid the violence and worked as a butcher. “They tried to kill me,” he said. “I ended up in hospital.”

His father and his family told him he should leave in order to survive.

His trip to Australia from the capital of Columbo was not as he envisaged, only discovering before boarding that his 14-day boat ride to freedom was aboard a very small, overcrowded fishing vessel containing 45-50 people.

The sea was rough with waves crashing over the boat and there was little food or water.

“It was so terrifying,” he said. “I thought we were not going to make it. Every day I prayed to God.”

The boat made land on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, 2750km northwest of Perth. From there he was placed in detention on Christmas Island, Perth, Cairns and Brisbane before settling in 2013 in Noosa.


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