Kantharooban Natarasa

I have been in Denmark for 32 years. More than half of my life. I have only been to Sri Lanka once since I fled, and I will probably never go there again. The colour of my skin shows that I am from there, but I and my family feel more at home in Denmark than in my home country. We feel safer here.

I am a bus driver and have been for 21 years. I am currently operating the routes 73 and 56 from Aalborg to Frederikshavn and out towards Mou. I enjoy my work, and I care about strictly adhering to the time schedules. If I am frequently delayed, people risk losing their jobs. Once there was a girl who travelled from Sæby to Nørresundby for high school every day. She was told off for arriving late. But she told me that when I was the driver, she always got there in time.

I am from Sri Lanka, and back there I had professional driver’s license. I fled before I could use it. I was 23 and had been detained by the military a few times. Once we sat there in a row, we were four or five of us, next to a hole they had dug. There were people in it. Some still breathing. Even today I find it difficult with soldiers. When I drive past the barracks in Nørresundby, and the soldiers get on the bus, I get flashbacks. I become nervous and scared, even though I know they won’t hurt me.

55 / male / married and has three children / bus driver / Aalborg / from Sri Lanka / came to Denmark in 1986 / residence permit 1986