Minister reverses killer doctor’s deportation order

Elle FarcicThe West Australian
Chamari Liyanage was jailed for four years in February over the fatal bashing of her “manipulative and merciless” husband Dinendra Athukorala.
Camera IconChamari Liyanage was jailed for four years in February over the fatal bashing of her “manipulative and merciless” husband Dinendra Athukorala. Credit: supplied

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

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

Dr Chamari Liyanage and Dr Dinendra Athukorala
Camera IconDr Chamari Liyanage and Dr Dinendra Athukorala Credit: 7 News

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

Liyanage’s friends in the Geraldton community campaigned tirelessly to convince the Immigration Department to review the mandatory cancellation.

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

Chamari Liyanage and husband Dr Dinendra Athukorala.
Camera IconChamari Liyanage and husband Dr Dinendra Athukorala. Credit: 7 News
Chamari Liyanage and husband Dr Dinendra Athukorala.
Camera IconChamari Liyanage and husband Dr Dinendra Athukorala. Credit: 7 News

“She is very thankful to 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 the offending was out of character and unlikely to be repeated.

During Liyanage’s murder trial, the jury was told Dr Athukorala engaged in unusual sexual practices, forced his wife to take part in threesomes and controlled her movements and finances.

Charmaine Trezona and Chamari Liyanage before Dr Liyanage fatally bashed her abusive husband in 2014.
Camera IconCharmaine Trezona and Chamari Liyanage before Dr Liyanage fatally bashed her abusive husband in 2014. Credit: Supplied by Subject

Geraldton resident Charmaine Trezona, who befriended Liyanage when they were both working at a nursing home, spoke to her after her visa was reinstated.

Charmaine Trezona and Chamari Liyanage before Dr Liyanage fatally bashed her abusive husband in 2014.
Camera IconCharmaine Trezona and Chamari Liyanage before Dr Liyanage fatally bashed her abusive husband in 2014. Credit: Supplied by Subject

She said Liyanage was “on top of the world” and could not wait to live a normal life outside Greenough Regional Prison.

“She said she could not wait to go out, go shopping and get out of her orange and brown uniform,” Ms Trezona said.

“She was so excited and she is just so thankful for everyone’s help and support.”

LATEST NEWS

New site reveals Perth’s crime hot spots

25,000 wait for power to be restored after mass outages

Quokka on the run after Rotto escape

Dealer murderer gets life for hacking up mate

Cancer claims much-loved Perth chef

Tigerair flights cancelled yet again

Ms Trezona said Liyanage had been doing “all of the things she was never allowed to do” in prison, including painting and crochet.

The former doctor has also been studying and writing a book in the hope of using her experience to help other victims of domestic violence.

Liyanage was acquitted of murder after a three-week trial but was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Her application for parole will be heard next month.

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

Sign up for our emails