By Lauren Day.
A woman who killed her abusive husband will be allowed to stay in Australia after the Department of Immigration reinstated her visa.
Sri Lankan-born doctor Chamari Liyanage is serving a four-year prison term after being convicted of the manslaughter of fellow doctor Dinendra Athukorala at their home in the West Australian town of Geraldton in June 2014.
She was acquitted of the more serious charge of murder and has been eligible to apply for parole since June.
Her application for parole is due to be heard next month, but there were fears that if it was granted, she would be moved into immigration detention and possibly deported because her visa was cancelled while behind bars.
However, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has revoked its decision to cancel the visa after considering her case.
It means that if granted parole, the 37-year-old will be released back into the community.
Her immigration lawyer Alisdair Putt said Liyanage cried when she learned she was able to stay.
“She’s delighted by the news and very grateful to the Minister and the Department for considering her case,” she said.
“She’s thankful for all the support she’s gotten from a considerable number of people in the community.
“She was obviously very emotional but so relieved.”
The decision comes after an appeal by prominent domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty last month.
In a letter to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton obtained by the ABC, Ms Batty wrote:
“Australia is a country to which people like Dr Liyanage come to live in the hope they will be able to live free safe lives.
“Your decision to revoke the cancellation of Dr Liyanage’s visa will demonstrate a compassionate Australian Government that truly understands the plight of family and domestic violence victims.”