The one-off solution covers only one family of three people who are currently in church asylum. It is the married couple Merry Anjala and Antonipillai Johnson Collin and their daughter Dilani Johnson Collin. The family came to Norway in 2009 from Sri Lanka, and have lived for more than eight years in church asylum at Finnsnes in Troms – since October 2014.
– We have cried and laughed and cried again, says Kjellrun Skoglund to Vårt Land.
She is the leader of the support group for the family from Sri Lanka, who are now receiving a residence permit in Norway. The residence permit is granted on humanitarian grounds, which gives slightly fewer rights than if you are granted residence as a refugee under the Refugee Convention.
Vårt Land writes that SV’s chief negotiator Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes, who represents Troms in the Storting, has been waiting for a long time to get the point included in the budget agreement.
– The solution had to be discussed for a long time. And then I had Eigil Knutsen and Geir Pollestad as tough but wise counterparts. It also meant a lot, says Fylkesnes to Vårt Land.
The parties have also agreed that the Ministry of Justice and Emergency Preparedness will begin work to look at the framework around church asylum.