Calls grow to let Sri Lankan family stay in the country after they were whisked ...

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The children of the Tamil asylum seeker family who were transported to Christmas Island after being given reprieve against deportation from Australia are 'constantly crying'

() The children of the Tamil asylum seeker family who were transported to Christmas Island after being given reprieve against deportation from Australia are 'constantly crying' 

Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton hit back at claims he has been unnecessarily cruel to a Sri Lankan family who are facing deportation. 

Priya, her husband Nadesalingam and their Australian-born children Kopika, 4, and Tharunicaa, 2, were bundled on to a red-eye flight back to Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Thursday.

A last minute injunction saw the plane turned around and parked in Darwin - a long way from their home in rural Queensland where the community is rallying behind them, pleading with the Australian government to allow them to stay. 

Newly surfaced footage of the family on the plane shows Kopika and Tharunicaa distressed and screaming as their parents try to console them. 

The video was taken on the parent's mobile phones, which were confiscated upon landing back in Australia.

Priya, her husband Nadesalingam and their Australian-born children Kopika, 4, and Tharunicaa, 2, were being flown back to Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Thursday

Priya, her husband Nadesalingam and their Australian-born children Kopika, 4, and Tharunicaa, 2, were being flown back to Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Thursday

They were eventually transferred again - this time to a detention centre Christmas Island - just after 2am on Saturday morning.

Federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale described the entire situation as senseless and cruel during a rally in Melbourne protesting the deportation. 

'This is a minister in Peter Dutton taking pleasure in the suffering of others, that's what going on here. It's barbaric, it's cruel and it needs to end.'

'This is senseless cruelty. This is cruelty for the sake of being cruel,' he said. 

Tanya Plibersek also chimed in, claiming: 'It's a bit rich for Peter Dutton to talk about precedent when he's prepared to use his ministerial powers to allow au pairs to enter the country.' 

But Mr Dutton has lashed out at members of the community and other politicians who are criticising him for his hard line stance on the family.

He says they were given ample warning that they would not be allowed to stay in Australia - including prior to them having children.

One of the young children from the Tamil family high fives a security staff member before they are removed from a secure apartment section at the Mercure Hotel in Darwin on Friday

One of the young children from the Tamil family high fives a security staff member before they are removed from a secure apartment section at the Mercure Hotel in Darwin on Friday

'Richard Di Natale supported decisions that resulted in 1200 people drowning at sea,' he said in a statement on Twitter.

'His comments today are self-indulgent and promote nothing more than his own failed agenda. They are disgusting and should be condemned.'

In a piece published on The Courier Mail, Mr Dutton explained the long and drawn out circumstances which led to the Tamil family's deportation.

He said each migrant's circumstances are assessed on compassionate grounds, and that Australia offers asylum to 18,750 refugees who are in genuine need each year.

After the family arrived

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