In the early hours of March 5, 2018, officers from Australian Border Force entered the home of married couple, Nadesalingam and Priya, in the central Queensland town of Biloela.
The pair were given just 10 minutes to pack their belongings, before they and their young Australian-born daughters, Kopika and Tharunicaa, were bundled out into the dawn and onto immigration detention.
Ever since, the family has been held captive, caught up in a lengthy, intricate battle to stay in the country they've called home for the better part of a decade.
Now, it's been more than 1,000 days since they were first snatched from their homes. This is their story, and what their lives look like now.
To Priya and Nades, Australia represented safety and freedom.
They are Tamil, an ethnic minority that were slaughtered in their tens of thousands during Sri Lanka's bloody civil war.
Speaking to Mamamia earlier this year, the couple's friend and advocate, Angela Fredericks, said they had each survived horrors that most Australians would barely be able to comprehend.
"Priya's husband was burnt alive in front of her, and her father was abused by the military. Nades is covered in shrapnel from the war," the fellow Biloela resident said.
"For them to make it through, and to still have the most beautiful, kind hearts is extraordinary."
After becoming a Mum, Priya used to bring her curries up to Biloela Hospital to say 'thank you'. But since officials snatched her from her Biloela home over two years ago, she has been caring for her QLD-born girls while locked in detention. pic.twitter.com/zHrgiDVwmC— HometoBilo (@HometoBilo) May 11, 2020
It’s estimated that 40,000 Tamils have been killed. But the number could be as high as 70,000. It’s hard to know, given the government at the time wasn’t really counting.
Since the conflict ended with a Government victory in 2009, more than 800,000 Tamil people are believed to have scattered across Sri Lanka and globe, driven from their homes, seeking a life free of violence and discrimination.