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NUS Wales calls on Home Secretary to #SaveShiromini

Saturday 25-02-2017 - 12:08
Shiromini

NUS Wales has called on the Home Secretary to intervene to stop the deportation of Bangor student Shiromini Satkunarajah

Shiromini, a third year electronic engineering student at Bangor University, has been ordered to be deported to Sri Lanka on Tuesday – despite being just three months from graduating.

Shiromini first arrived in the United Kingdom in 2011. She and her mother were granted Discretionary Leave to Remain while she completed her GCSEs after her father passed away.

Further Leave to Remain was then granted on appeal to allow Shiromini to complete her A Levels and start a University course. When that expired, further grants of Leave to Remain and of asylum were denied, however Shiromini has been allowed to remain in the United Kingdom – and continue her University course – while appealing.

An asylum application has now been rejected and Shiromini and her mother have been transferred to a detention centre, to await deportation to Sri Lanka on Tuesday. They have no family or friends there, and Shiromini is just months away from completing her degree in Electronic Engineering at Bangor University.

NUS Wales Deputy President Carmen Smith and Undeb Bangor Students’ Union Vice President Education and Welfare Helen Marchant have today written urgently to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP to request that she use her discretionary power to stop this inhumane and callous deportation.

In their letter, Ms Smith and Ms Marchant said:

“We remind you, Home Secetary, that Shiromini has lived in and contributed to the United Kingdom since 2011, yet she is still only 20 years old. It is our belief that it would be particularly callous to remove her to a country where she has no social or cultural ties, at an age where it is generally accepted that if she were a British national, she would still be able to live at home with her mother.

“We also remind you of the value that Shiromini can bring to her local community and to the United Kingdom. We know that the United Kingdom is experiencing a concerning skills gap in STEM subjects. As a prospective First Class graduate of engineering, Shiromini clearly has the potential to contribute positively to the United Kingdom. To deprive the United Kingdom of that is unfathomable.

“We object to what we believe to be an inhumane decision to deport Shiromini to Sri Lanka. She has no family there, she has no friends there, and she has already contributed so much to the United Kingdom.

“As Home Secretary, you have the power to intervene. We request that you act urgently over the weekend to stop the deportation of Shiromini and her mother.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

NUS Wales contact: Cerith Rhys Jones – 07875 132 174 – Cerith.rhys-jones@nus-wales.org.uk

Background info

  1. Ms Smith and Ms Marchant’s full letter to the Home Secretary can be viewed at http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/resources/nus-wales-letter-to-the-home-secretary-shiromini-satkunarajah
  2. At the time of writing, a Change.org petition to call on the Home Secretary to intervene had 5,751 signatures: https://www.change.org/p/amber-rudd-mp-stop-shiromini-getting-deported-she-is-three-months-away-from-completing-a-degree

About NUS Wales

NUS Wales is a confederation of students’ unions representing more than 300,000 students in the nation. As the only representative voice for students in Wales, NUS Wales represents students from all affiliated students’ unions in both HE and FE sectors, this includes 8 HE institutions and all Welsh FE Colleges.

NUS Wales exists to promote, defend and extend the rights of students and develop and champion strong students’ unions. We fight barriers to education; empower students to shape both a quality learning experience and the world around them; as well as supporting influential, democratic and well-resourced students’ unions. 

As well as campaigning on behalf of our members, NUS Wales provides a range of training to students’ unions including training for full-time offices, part-time officers and staff. We provide support to students’ unions to ensure they are able to engage positively with the latest policy developments that affect them.

The core values of NUS Wales are democracy, equality and collectivism. We believe that student organisations should be student-led and that education is a benefit to the individual and to society.

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