Husband killer wins right to stay in Australia

Elle FarcicThe West Australian
The West logo

A Sri Lankan-born doctor who was facing deportation over the manslaughter of her abusive husband could be released into the Geraldton community next month after her visa was reinstated.

Chamari Liyanage was jailed for four years last February over the fatal bashing of her “manipulative and merciless” husband Dinendra Athukorala in Geraldton in 2014.

She has been eligible for parole since last June but was facing deportation after her visa was cancelled on character grounds.

Liyanage’s friends in Geraldton campaigned to convince the Immigration Department to overturn the mandatory cancellation.

Her case came to the attention of domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty, who wrote to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton asking him to consider allowing Liyanage to stay in Australia.

Liyanage’s immigration lawyer Alisdair Putt was told yesterday her permanent residency visa had been reinstated.

“She is very thankful for the department and the minister for their compassionate consideration of her request,” Mr Putt said.

“She was also extremely moved by the level of support from the Australian public.”

Mr Putt argued Liyanage’s case involved exceptional circumstances and she was unlikely to reoffend.

Liyanage bashed her husband over the head with a 1.79kg mallet in their Geraldton home after years of physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

Geraldton resident and friend Charmaine Trezona said the former doctor was “on top of the world” and could not wait to live a normal life outside prison.

Her parole application will be heard next month.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails