02 December, 2006


Round up the usual scapegoats

I don't wish to seem harsh, but how does this personal tragedy represent a failure of immigration and asylum policy? The parents had access to a GP; they seemingly knew about and managed to take him to A&E without difficulty. The unfortunate child was misdiagnosed, something that happens quite frequently.

How would a "support network" in Bury, presumably of other Sinhalese, have helped? Perhaps there were language difficulties, but given the names of the various medical staff involved, I expect even a native English-speaking indigenous Brit would have encountered language difficulties. And the father, Mr Krishnakumar, seems to be a professionally trained man who has had no difficulty subsequently resettling in Leicester and probably has an adequate enough command of English.

No, I suspect that the coroner's comments represent little more than the reflex Government-bashing by the Liberati whenever anything unpleasant happens to an asylum seeker.

And another thing strikes me. On what basis can a Sri Lankan seek asylum? This family is, judging by the surname, Sinhalese. The Sinhalese are not under threat in (most of) Sri Lanka. Even the Tamils are not under threat in their bit of Sri Lanka, and if they were, then Tamil Nadu is just across the Palk Strait. Is he fleeing political oppression? Then he should be a little more circumspect in his political activities. Is he fleeing religious persecution? Then he should move to another part of the Subcontinent where his religion is predominant.

I find it difficult to understand how anyone from the Subcontinent can justify seeking asylum in the UK. Even where they are under genuine threat, there is always somewhere in that vast and, if you will forgive the term, supremely diverse place where they will find a sympathetic reception.

Perhaps if Mr Krishnakumar had remained in his homeland, rather than using the cover of asylum to "seek a new life" here, his child might still be alive. Or again, the little boy might have died anyway for the same essentially accidental reasons.

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