College students frequently bitch about the oppressive rules and regulations of their universities. But next time you start whining about something as trivial as the soda machine in the dining hall running out of Dr. Pepper, remember Bangor University.
Bangor University is home to Shiromini Satkunarajah, one of the smartest students they have. Unfortunately, Satkunarajah is set to be deported back to her home of Sri Lanka just three months before her graduation. However, Bangor University isn’t going to let that happen without a fight.
Who Is Shiromini Satkunarajah
Shiromini Satkunarajah is a 20-year-old student at Bangor University. She is in her last year studying electronic engineering and is set to graduate in three months. Satkanuarajah is involved with student activities and is chair of the university’s Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers branch. Her and her mother are set to be deported from the UK back to Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Satkunarajah, 20, and her morther Roshani have been living in the UK for eight years. The pair were arrested earlier this month when they went to have their visas renewed and transferred to Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre in Bedfordshire.
Satkunarajah, who is in her final year of studying electronic engineering, is a model student with phenomenal grades and impressive extracurriculars. That’s why Bangor University is stepping in.
“After learning about Shiromini’s situation at the end of last week, the vice-chancellor of Bangor University has written to the Home Office requesting that Shiromini Satkunarajah be allowed to remain in the UK to complete her studies,” a university spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.
“Our view is that it would be in the best interests of the student that she be allowed to complete her studies at Bangor University. The university has also been in touch with Shiromini to assure her that she has our support and we would very much wish to see her being able to complete her degree.”
A family member said of Shiromini, “She was scared when she was in the cell for two days…She was in a separate cell to her mum.” They continued that Shiromini would be devastated if she was sent back to Sri Lanka: “All of her family are here in the UK, all of her friends, aunties and cousins.
“She is really scared about going back to Sri Lanka. She reads the news and it makes her more scared, she think it’s dangerous there.
“She at least wants to stay for three months to finish her degree.” The family member described Shiromini as “really funny, intelligent, friendly and very popular.”
Others have now taken up Shiromini’s cause, including shadow Wales secretary Christina Rees.
Helen Merchant, a classmate of Shiromini’s, said: “Mini is a kind, gentle soul and an incredibly hard worker. She consistently achieves top grades; to snatch away her chances of graduating would be a tragedy.
“We’re doing everything we can at the students’ union to help her. You can sign the petition on change.org or tweet Qatar airlines to stop them allowing her to board her flight at 9pm on Tuesday.”
This is a developing story. Please refresh for updates.