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Refugee Action Coalition calls for resettlement of The Sivalinghams – Organ donor’s family


Rishve Sivalingham died in hospital after being found collapsed in the front yard of his home in Sydney, bleeding and struggling to breathe.

The cause of death has yet to be officially determined, but friends say he was still recovering from a serious head injury from a work accident in December.

The 29-year-old was kept on life support at Westmead Hospital while medical staff contacted his wife in India.

She gave consent to donate her husband’s heart, lungs, liver, kidney, eyes and musculoskeletal tissue – all of which will be used for transplants.

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Mr Sivalingham’s wife, Subashini, and two young daughters are in an Indian refugee camp.

Her brother, Thiyakan Palaniyandi, who lives in Sydney, said she is struggling to cope with her husband’s death.

“Both the children are continuously crying – they want to see their father,” he said.

With the help of the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC), the 26-year-old is now calling on the Australian government to resettle his sister and her daughters on compassionate grounds.

He said it is what his brother-in-law would have wanted.

“He was hoping to get the children down to Australia, because in India they can’t afford education and have no citizenship,” he said.

“We haven’t had these things, but at least the children could have an education and a better life here.”

Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said the case for resettlement is strong, considering that Mr Sivalingham’s organs were given to help Australians.

“The fact that so many of his organs are going to assist Australian citizens and people in Australian society is one of those things you see so often I think in the asylum seeker and refugee community,” Mr Rintoul said.

“The generosity, their willingness even in the saddest of situations, to want to contribute, to make a better life not just for themselves but where they hope will be their home country.

“I think it’s a very good reason to reciprocate the generosity that’s actually happened in this situation.”

Mr Sivalingham – a Tamil asylum seeker – had been in Australia for two-and-a-half years on a bridging visa.

A spokesperson for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said the department would “assess any application from the family if one is received”.

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About Ayotunde Aboderin

A professional blogger, an online Journalist and a passionate Immigration and visa Affairs individual.


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