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Greens support call to bring Sri Lanka girl back

22 February, 2004

Greens support call to bring Sri Lanka girl back

Green MP Keith Locke says the government should show some compassion and allow the Sri Lankan girl deported last week back into New Zealand. The Green Spokesperson on Human Rights is supporting the deported 16-year-old's lawyers as they make an urgent application to the new Immigration Minister for a reversal of the deportation order.

"It is clear that the government got it wrong," said Mr Locke.

"There is no adequate 'care programme' in place in her home country. As shown on the 'Sunday' TV programme last night, her Sri Lankan relations, other than her grandmother, have rejected her.

"As the Catholic Communications Director in NZ Lyndsay Freer says, the Catholic sisters in Sri Lanka are unable to keep her long.

"Even more worrying, the girl may well be forcibly split up from her grandmother, who is her only real support.

"It is time for the government to admit their mistake and offer the girl and her grandmother a place back here.

"New Zealanders are compassionate people and public sympathy is with girl," said Mr Locke.

"Surely our government can take her in."

ENDS


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