Lankan girl receives Australian visa after minister intervenes

The Sri Lankan girl who made headlines after being refused a temporary visa because she has Down syndrome would be allowed to live in Australia, after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton intervened in her case.

According to ABC News, the 9-year-old Eliza Fonseka had also found an unexpected ally in former Australian cricket captain Greg Chappell, who advocated for her to be granted the visa.

“I’m very excited for Eliza, I’m very excited for the family,” said Chappell, who was approached to help Eliza’s family by her father, a cricket coach. “I think in this case compassion has won out.” Chappell said it was the first time he had been involved in an immigration issue.

“Probably in this particular style, yes, but through the years I’ve been approached to support a few things and where I thought it worthy, I’ve been more than happy to support the cause,” he said.

“I thought [this] was a very worthy cause.” Eliza’s parents want to work in a Christian crisis centre in remote Western Australia.

The Immigration Department last year issued them a temporary work visa but Eliza was not granted a visa because the Immigration Department said she was considered to be a “significant cost to the Australian community in the areas of health care”.

That decision caused outrage in disability advocacy circles. – See more at:

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