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.
- 4 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 5 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party is the right choice for you
General election: Conservatives mocked online over Boris Johnson's claim of SNP 'jockalypse'
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General Election 2015: Sturgeon claims Scots 'appalled' by Ed Miliband's refusal to work with SNP
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...