If I'm deported back to Sri Lanka,
torture is certain because I'm a Tamil.
- from the Journal of Leo Seemanpillai
This poem is in parts with first lines:
2. I read the newspapers,
3. When he settles in Geelong (Author's note: Leo Seemanillai arrived in Darwin from India on January 9, 2013, and was held in detention before being granted a bridging visa with work rights in June of that year)
4. A man on fire (Epitaph: 'Anyone who may have come from Sri Lanka should know that they will go back to Sri Lanka.' - Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigrantion and Border Protection; October 2013.
5. A man casts off and rows
6. How can I venture
9. Leo, one of the light-bearers, (Author's Note: Leo had, pinned to his wall, a slip of paper that read, It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.)
11. Who, exactly, is ill here? (Author's Note: During a stay in a Mental hospital early in 2014 because of severe depression, Leo tried to hang himself with a towel.)
17. The Australian government refused the visa applied for by Leo's family (Epitaph: 'We want to be by our son's side when his funeral takes place. that way our lives will be more peaceful.' - Leo's father