'Exceptional' student set to face deportation three months before graduating

A student at Bangor University faces deportation from the UK, 12 years after moving here in the first place and three months before graduating.

Shiromini Satkunarajah is an engineering student at the North Wales University, but was arrested on Tuesday (21st February) and was taken to Yarl's Wood Detention Centre.

Ms Satkunarajah, originally from Sri Lanka, came to the UK when she was 12 years old with her parents as they fled the Sri Lankan Civil War. At first, she was dependent on her father's student visa but was given leave when he died in 2011.

Unfortunately, her application for a full student visa has been denied and therefore is unable to remain in the country.

The home office informed her that she will be escorted to the airport on Tuesday 28th February.

Bangor's head of electrical engineering, Iestyn Pierce described Shiromini as "exceptionally able and diligent" and that there was "no doubt she would achieve first-class honours."

A relative of Shiromini spoke to The Independent, saying:

“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.”
“Our family are devastated. My mum’s just been crying all the time.”

There is a petition calling for Home Secretary, Amber Rudd (above) to allow Shiromini to remain in the UK to complete her studies, which has gathered almost 30,000 signatures (correct at time of writing).

This is a talented girl who is a credit to the UK, sign the petition and let Shiromini finish her studies!