North West Wales

Deportation threat student returns to Bangor University

Miss Satkunarajah has thanked MP Hywel Williams for his help Image copyright Richard Birch
Image caption Miss Satkunarajah has thanked MP Hywel Williams for his help

A Bangor University student threatened with deportation has returned to north Wales.

Sri Lankan Shiromini Satkunarajah, 20, had been taken to a detention centre after being refused asylum.

After a National Union of Students (NUS) petition backing her bid to stay attracted more 167,000 signatures, she was told she could remain in the UK.

She said there are still "a lot of uncertainties", but she wanted to get back to "lectures and normal life".

Miss Satkunarajah, who was born in Sri Lanka but has lived in the UK for eight years, is due to finish her electrical engineering degree this summer.

But she was arrested and taken to Yarls' Wood Detention Centre in Bedfordshire to await deportation with her mother on Tuesday.

Miss Satkunarajah has only three months left before graduating.

Arfon MP Hywel Williams raised a Point of Order in the House of Commons about her plight, and Bangor's vice chancellor wrote to the Home Office.

'Traumatic'

Miss Satkunarajah said she was "particularly thankful" to Mr Williams for "everything he's done".

She added: "Thanks to everyone who signed the petition and shared it and helped me in whatever way they could. Thanks to those involved in making the decision to defer my deportation.

"I am now delighted to be back at Bangor University and I very much hope I can complete my course.

"I wish to get back to my lectures and normal life as soon as possible to increase my chances of getting a first-class degree."

She said being detained came as a "big shock" and described the experience as "quite traumatic."

"There are still a lot of uncertainties, and that is worrying for me and my family, but now I want to concentrate on my studies."

Bangor University vice-chancellor Prof John Hughes said he is "delighted" Miss Satkunarajah has now returned to Bangor and that "very much hoped she will be allowed to remain to complete her degree".

Related Topics

More on this story