Shiromini Satkunarajah, from Bangor University, only had three months left to complete her engineering degree in the U.K. But unfortunately she was dragged from the university and taken to Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre along with her mother after being arrested by the Home Office.
Her crime: Her application for a full student visa was denied.
Satkunarajah came to Bangor in 2009, after her family left the Sri Lankan Civil War. Initially she was dependent on her father’s student visa, till 2011, the year he passed away. But Satkunarajah and her mother were allowed to stay until she completed her secondary education.
While their application for asylum the country was denied, she still had the permission to stay throughout the appeal process.
This week, the 20-year-old was informed by the home office that her application for a full-time student visa had been rejected too.
“You do not have a right to appeal or administrative review against the decision to refuse your application,” stated the letter from the Home Office.
Satkunarajah is not just any ordinary student; she is a very talented individual.
Iestyn Pierce, Bangor’s head of electrical engineering, described her as “exceptionally able and diligent.”
“I have no doubt that Shiromini would achieve first-class honors,” he said.
“Shiromini came here when she was 12. Her whole life is here, all of her friends and family are here. She has no one in Sri Lanka, we’re a small family. She won’t be able to continue with her education,” said a concerned family member.
“It is not fair that she only has three months left to finish her degree. At least let her finish that.”
The distressed student launched a petition titled, “Stop Shiromini getting deported. She is three months away from completing a degree” calling on Amber Rudd, U.K.’s home secretary, to reconsider her asylum application.
“I seek for help from everyone to overturn the decision to deport me on 28 February,” she wrote in a message accompanying the petition.
Several people have voiced their opinions against this inhumane deportation of a bright student, who just needed three months to complete her degree.
The Home Office has not commented on Satkunarajah’s case.