Star Sri Lanka student spared deportation from UK after massive support campaign
Great news from the UK, where star Sri Lankan engineering undergraduate Shiromini Satkunarajah (pictured) has received an 11th-hour reprieve after being threatened with deportation.
The Guardian newspaper reports that Shiromini, 20, and her mother were freed from detention after tens of thousands of people backed her campaign to stay, including fellow students across the UK, academics, church leaders and politicians.
Satkunarajah, who has been in the UK since she was 12, and her mother, Roshani, were arrested last week after being told their application for asylum had been turned down.
They were taken to Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire and were braced to be put on a plane leaving from Manchester on Tuesday evening.
Her lawyer, Raja Uruthiravinayagan, of Duncan Lewis Solicitors, said: “It appears that these positive developments came about only because this case has seen a groundswell of public opinion and made a clarion call to the secretary of state. We hope that the secretary of state has not taken these steps with the view to temporarily assuage public outrage.
“We are inviting the secretary of state to restore a modicum of justice and fairness in our broken system and grant our client and her mother a more stable form of leave to remain in the United Kingdom on a long-term basis.”
Said Satkunarajah, who is studying electrical engineering at Bangor University in Wales: “I feel great. The only thing in my head now is to get back to uni as soon as possible and do my assignments.
“I haven’t finished the practical side of my dissertation yet and my deadlines are coming up pretty soon. I have to catch up with loads of work. My priority is to get back and catch up.”
So all’s well that ends well. Let’s hope it stays that way.
Read the full report here.