Ruban urgently needs our help
A Tamil failed asylum seeker, originally from Sri Lanka and living without ID in an Indian refugee camp with his wife and 2 young children, Ruban sustained a severe fracture to his right leg when Indian police hit him while he was riding a bike: "Somebody gave the wrong information that I am LTTE-linked."
The miltant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is proscribed as a terrorist organisation in various countries, including India.
Having initially been moved to India during the Sri Lankan civil war, Ruban and his young family have never felt safe as non-citizens. In 2014, he came to Australia by boat, seeking asylum. "Only now am I realising that I made a mistake," he says.
Detained on Christmas Island until October 2015, Ruban was subsequently transferred to Yongah Hill immigration detention in Western Australia, where I first made his acqaintance: He was selflessly providing translation support for a fellow Tamil asylum seeker whom I was helping. Ruban was also sharing his phone plan with 6 Sri Lankan detainees. As he told me at the time, "It is necessary for them to speak to their lawyers and family. I understand and respect others."
Returned to Christmas Island in June 2017, Ruban was never given the chance to live in the Australian community while his case was considered, even though he had not committed any crime:
"My case was rejected by Immigration and the Federal Circuit Court. Living on Christmas Island made me so depressed and stressed out. I lost 15 kilos; I had no appetite. I had 2 options: whether to appeal or to return to my country. I preferred a voluntary return as a failed asylum seeker."
But Australia did not return Ruban to India. Instead, he was deported to Sri Lanka at the end of October 2017. "I had to face the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) and police back in Sri Lanka, and I escaped to India."
Now unable to walk or work to support his family, Ruban urgently needs an operation, which will entail the insertion of a metal rod in his right leg. The cost of the operation is AUS$2000.
Please join me in helping this kind and considerate man in his time of need. If a few of us band together, it will be no time at all before he can have the operation and be back on his feet again.
A little about me: I am a volunteer refugee advocate, writer and editor. As a member of SASS (Supporting Asylum Seekers Sydney), I regularly visit and support asylum seekers in the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre. You can read more at https://shirasebban.wordpress.com