The deportation of 56 Tamil men was halted after a dramatic hearing at the High Court in Sydney late on Monday.The department agreed to halt the men’s forcible deportation, expected to take place this morning (TUESDAY) and all parties will reappear in court on Thursday. A department spokesman said no blanket decision had been taken not to accept Sri Lankans and each claim would be assessed individually. The court action was brought by refugee advocate Ian Rintoul and Bala Vigneswaran from the Australian Tamil Congress.Tamil community supporters had become highly upset after the Immigration Department moved on Friday to forcibly deport several Tamils. “Screening out is a travesty of justice,” Mr Rintoul said. “All asylum seekers should have access to independent legal advice.” (Peninsula Weekly) A list of 56 Tamils in the detention network and threatened with deportation was drawn up and on Sunday lawyers received written instruction from seven men.Mr Vigneswaran said he was deeply concerned the asylum seekers were not being given a fair hearing.“If they file their case and they are found not to be refugees, that is understandable. But not to given them an opportunity to present their claims properly is unfair,” he said. A department spokesman said it was ‘‘not uncommon’’ for the department to face legal challenges of this kind, but no other deportations would be affected by the hearing. But he said a claim by a person they face persecution in their home country did not automatically trigger Australia’s international obligations.Mr Rintoul said 35 Tamil men who Australia had returned to Sri Lanka had been arrested last friday and taken to Negombo prison, outside Colombo.He said several of them had told Australian officials of their fears of return, and said they would rather die than be sent back. He said the department “will continue to remove unlawful non-citizens where it is in accordance with the Migration Act”. read more

Sign up for Your Royal Appointment – for everything you need to know about the Royal Family, direct to your inbox each week. However a source close to the Yorks said they were “upset” by the snub.Doubts over Prince Philip’s attendance come after the Telegraph reported that “Fergie” will be treated as “part of the family” on the big day, even though she hasn’t spoken to her former father-in-law since she divorced Prince Andrew in 1996.Philip once described Sarah Ferguson as “odd and pointless” and is said to still blame her toe-sucking antics for bringing shame on the royal family in the Nineties.Although Sarah is still close to the Queen, holidaying with her at Balmoral for the third year running in August, Philip is always notably absent when she stays in the Scottish castle with her ex-husband and daughters Eugenie, 28, and Beatrice. The Duke of Edinburgh will make a last minute decision as to whether to attend Princess Eugenie’s wedding, royal sources have told the Telegraph.At 97, Prince Philip now operates on a “wake up and see how I feel” basis, according to insiders.A well-placed source said: “The Duke of Edinburgh may not go to the wedding, just as he and the Queen did not attend Prince Louis christening in July.“There’s not a three line whip on these family occasions. Not unreasonably, when you consider his age, the Duke of Edinburgh will decide on the morning of the wedding if he’s going to be there. He now very much operates on a ‘wake up and see how I feel’ basis.”–– ADVERTISEMENT ––The revelation comes after it was announced Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, would not be attending Friday’s 11am ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, because she is carrying out a series of engagements in Scotland.Her spokesman said the invitation to help local schools celebrate harvest festival “pre-dated” the wedding invitation she received from Eugenie and her fiance Jack Brooksbank several months ago. He denied reports that it was because Camilla did not get on with the mother of the bride, the Duchess of York. “They get on very well, the couple has no issue with it – they have known about the diary clash for some time.” Her latest trip to the Highlands coincided with Princess Beatrice’s 30th birthday celebrations, where the Queen was guest of honour but the Duke did not attend. The Queen, 92, and the Duke are understood to have already travelled down from Balmoral to London in preparation for spending the weekend in Windsor.A royal insider added: “The royals are like any family in the sense they try to make family occasions but it is not always possible. I’m sure he would love to be there to see his granddaughter get married but no one would blame the Duke if he didn’t feel up to attending the wedding on the day – he’s only three years off 100.” read more