I grew up in London. Went to primary and secondary school here, and I made some mistakes and fell in with the wrong crowd. I did my time but now the government is trying to rip me away from my home and my family. They are trying to deport me from the country that I love and the only country that I know to a country that I left when I was five years old. Now I’m locked up in Harmondsworth. I don’t know for how long.
My family came from Sri Lanka in 1985 because of the civil war. It was a given that kids where we lived would grow up to be Tamil Tigers and my Dad didn’t want that for us. We’ve settled in the UK and the rest of my family are now British citizens but because I’ve committed crimes that’s not a possibility for me.
Growing up in London can be tough, and I guess I got in with a bad crowd and things went downhill for me. I got into drugs and crime to feed my habit. And I know that was wrong, and I am really remorseful for the crimes that I’ve done. But I never made any British person cry or touched a hair on their head. Mainly I was involved in theft or handling stolen goods, but I have never done any violent crimes. I’ve done my punishment in prison, but now I am in detention because UK BA say I am a risk to the public. This is rubbish, and the probation service say that I am low risk, so I should be released. So I am doing another sentence now in immigration detention but this one has got no time limit. And they are trying to deport me to a country that I left 27 years ago.
I really love this country. The education system, the NHS is amazing but the immigration policies in this country are terrible. They lock people up in a prison without an end, and turn their back on you. I can’t believe that this can happen in a country like England. And it makes me feel that I don’t want to live under this government that treats people like this.
UKBA is messing up the country. Case workers know the stories of the trauma people have been through but they still refuse them. The people of England should know that amazing country is being run by idiots. I understand it’s a tiny country but we have to find more personal way of dealing with people. We are not just paper work. This is what my painting is about.
They tried to deport to Sri Lanka me a few weeks ago. My whole family are here and were crying when they came to visit me on the night before I was supposed to leave. And I was so worried that my Gran would pass away and I wouldn’t be able to see her again. It was like a kidnap. I’ve seen bad things happen on the streets, but four burly officers were frogmarching me out by force. I was ok but a tortured asylum seeker would have been terrified. In the end, I got a last minute reprieve and my removal was stopped. It was all very dramatic, as I was being frog-marched up the stairs to the airplane a guy came running up waving a piece of paper.
Now I’m just waiting in detention. I don’t know when I’ll be released. I’ve been detained before for six months. And I am hoping that this time it won’t be as long before I can get back to my family.