Seeking asylum 1: Thiru

Time waiting
Photo Credit: James. License

The Forum  is an organisation for the integration of migrants and refugees. Close to central London, the community help the individual with his/her different needs once arrived in UK.

The people here comes from every part in the world, and with different stories. Some of the members of this community are waiting for their refugee status since years.

Young and waiting for hope

“I did’t have a choice,” explains me Thiru, 26 years old, “and I left.”

A tall boy with a tinkling bracelet, Thiru tells me the secrecy by which he had to leave his country. “I had to hide, I still have not disclosed it to my community, because they will see me like I am carrying the stigma on me,” he explains.

Thiru travelled from Sri Lanka by plane to the United Kingdom five years ago. At the end of the Civil War, he fled from persecution. Suspected of supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, he received a student visa and reached safety in Britain.

Sri Lanka flag. Photo Credit: Nazly Ahmed. License
Thiru explains why he had to leave his country, Sri Lanka.

Thiru is waiting for his refugee status since two years.
Many others are in the queue for longer. He in person has talked with them.
In the mind, and in the heart: these the most painful parts. It is not only a matter of physical suffering, but in particular a limbo status – neither to come back, neither to move on – that threatens their mental conditions. “They collapse”, he explained me.

Thiru also needs some pauses now and then to bring back to his mind memories of what he went through.
“I feel so bad when I see these people,” he continues.

Thiru talks about the difficult mind conditions many people are suffering because of the long and uncertain wait for asylum.

Thiru wanted to get back to his education. He received a placement, passed the interview, but, at the end, “I had to disclose I am an asylum seeker.” And he tells me the organization asked for time to consider the request more carefully.

It is a middle-land condition. Until the legal documents, he will not be able to apply for the services i the same way of the other citizens, no matter how much time it will take. “It was like someone slapped me.”

26 years old, and a new life yet to fully embrace.
What is your hope for the future?

> Read another testimony. Seeking asylum 2: Bamidele