Australian Nurse Relives The Nightmare Of Discovering Burnt SL Asylum Seeker

Nurse Esther Merrett has relived the nightmare of discovering Sri Lankan asylum seeker Leorsin Seemanpillai after had set himself on fire outside a unit in Geelong, Victoria. 

'All his skin was peeling off his limbs and he was really distressed,' Ms Merrett told the ABC.

'When he lost consciousness that made me realise he was probably not going to do very well and he was probably dying.'

She said she knew something was wrong when she saw black smoke in the air outside the unit block on Sunday.

Merrett, 29, expressed extreme sadness for the deceased man who was the same age as her.

'The fact that someone would rather do that to themselves than live probably means that there's something very, very wrong with what's going on with asylum seekers,' she said.

Seemanpillai was living in Geelong waiting for his protection visa application to be finalised.

But he had grave fears he might be deported back to Sri Lanka, fears that were exacerbated when Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announced in October that Sri Lankan asylum seekers would be sent home.

Refugee support worker Cathy Bond said  Seemanpillai had been anxious about that possibility the day before he died.

'He said, "what will happen to me? What will happen to me if they refuse my case?",' she said of her last conversation with her friend.

But the Minister warned his critics against making 'assumptions' about what led Seemanpillai to take his life in the 'terrible and tragic incident', Daily Mail reported.


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