UN guidelines on refugees 'ignored'
The Home Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, has suggested that David Vigna, 31, who is about to complete a prison sentence for smuggling drugs, should be returned to Colombo, after hearing that it would be unsafe for him to live in the north of the country where he was born.
The decision appears to ignore advice issued by the UN High Commission on Refugees last June. This says asylum-seekers whose applications have been turned down should not normally be sent to Colombo. Exceptions should be made only on the basis of 'such factors as the presence of close relatives and/or the duration of previous residence and/or past employment in these areas'.
Mr Vigna insists he does not fall into these categories. He has never lived in Colombo, and has no relatives there.
In 1985, as he fled to Europe, Mr Vigna was caught carrying drugs through Heathrow and given a six-year jail term with a recommendation that he be deported afterwards. Mr Clarke insists he cannot give exceptional leave to remain because of Mr Vigna's 'criminal antecedents'.
Mr Vigna says that in the early 1980s he was involved with a Tamil liberation movement, which has since allied with the government. His brother and niece are with the Tamil Tigers, who are in violent conflict with the government. He fears he will be targeted by both sides.
Last Friday, Mr Vigna failed in an attempt to challenge Mr Clarke's decision in the High Court. His only hope is a final appeal to the Home Office.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...