Tag Archive: Cardiff

Welsh First Minister gets dancing with the dandiya

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FUN: First Minister Carwyn Jones joins in the Diwali Celebrations with the Dandiya Raas Dancers

FUN: First Minister Carwyn Jones joins in the Diwali Celebrations with the Dandiya Raas Dancers


Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones really got into the spirit of Diwali celebrations in Cardiff and even joined in with the dancers at the event.

The 50-year-old Labour politician took to the stage to join in with the Dandiya Raas Dance Group that had performed at the event on Monday 16th October to celebrate the high point of the Hindu spiritual year.

The event at the Wales Millennium Centre which was organised by Indian diplomat Raj Aggarwal was a sell out and there were over 300 people in attendance for the night of traditional Indian music and dancing.

There was also a performance by Welsh actress Vicki Bebb, who is playing the lead in Tiger Bay The Musical which is set to open in November at the Wales Millennium Centre.

Honorary Consul to India in Wales Raj Aggarwal said: "It was fantastic to see the First Minister getting involved in the dancing to celebrate Diwali, it was such an amazing event and everyone had a great night."

During speeches at the event Raj Aggarwal announced a new trade deal for small and medium sized (SME) businesses in Wales which has just been implemented by the Indian government.

The Access India pilot scheme is looking for technology firms to manufacture and trade in India and will provide assistance in setting up including cutting through regional and national red-tape, and introducing them to business networks so they can flourish quickly.

Mr Aggarwal said “This programme set out by the High Commissioner Mr Sinha will provide small and medium sized businesses with a free and complete road-map for investment, ranging from legal, taxation, accounting and ministerial advice for companies wishing to take the plunge to trade and work in India.

“Crucially it will allow Welsh companies to bypass EU restrictions by making it easy to trade without a formal Free Trade Agreement. “

Previously the expense of setting up in India with start-up costs, bureaucratic red-tape and initial lack of contacts have prohibited many Welsh firms from setting up satellites there but now the Indian government has now announced this assistance package to help get them started.

Mr Aggarwal added: “India is the fastest growing economy in the world today, and also shares a business language with us, and is a free-market democracy. And they play cricket!

“Welsh companies have a natural advantage over international competitors but we must act now to capitalise on this, and the Access India programme should further help them get a foothold there.”

Mahatma Gandhi arrives in Cardiff… as a statue, that is

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(L-R)High Commissioner Mr Sinha, First Minister Carwyn Jones, Hindu Council of Wales Vimla Patel, Satish Dhupelia (Gandhi's great-grandson) and Honorary Consul for India Raj Aggarwal

(L-R)High Commissioner Mr Sinha, First Minister Carwyn Jones, Hindu Council of Wales Vimla Patel, Satish Dhupelia (Gandhi's great-grandson) and Honorary Consul for India Raj Aggarwal


A six-foot high, 300 kilogram bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled in Cardiff on the 148th anniversary of his birth, in the presence of over 1000 guests including his great grandson.

Mahatma Gandhi is revered throughout the world as the man who led India to freedom with his campaign of non-violent resistance, and last month (August 15th) India celebrated 70 years of independence.

First Minister Carwyn Jones and the Indian High Commissioner Mr Y.K. Sinha unveiled the sculpture at a ceremony on 2nd October near the Wales Millennium Centre.

A large number of dignitaries including the Hon Consul General of India Raj Aggarwal OBE met with Gandhi’s great grandson, Satishkumar Dhupelia, who had travelled from South Africa for the ceremony.

Created by sculptors Ram Sutar and his son Anil, the statue shows Gandhi wearing home-spun traditional Indian clothing standing with a staff in one hand and the Hindu book Bhagavad Gita in the other.

The inscription on the marble plaque underneath the statue says in both Welsh and English: “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”

The Honorary Consul for India in Wales Raj Aggarwal, speaking at the event said: “I feel we are truly blessed to have this statue which will bring the presence of the great Gandhi ji on our doorstep.

“We are truly touched that some many people came her today for this unveiling ceremony.

“It is so important to remember this great man and his achievements. His selfless life's work produced a peace loving sovereign democracy in India, but his legacy is even greater than that.

“He showed that peaceful coexistence and tolerance of others is the only way to live and that all disputes can be resolved without violence.”

All the costs for the creation of the statue had been raised by the Hindu Council of Wales and their Chairperson Vimla Patel. The fund-raising had taken over three years and the statue now has a permanent position on Lloyd George Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 4QH near to the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay

Vimla Patel the chair of the Hindu Council of Wales said: “Mahatma Gandhi’s statue is an inspiration to current and future generations to live to together in peace and harmony and to treat each other with love and irrespective of one’s religion, culture or race.

“It has taken three years of hard work to bring this important project to fruition my sincere thanks go to all of the members of Hindu Council of Wales for all their hard work and in particular the Late Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan for his efforts and support.”

Armed robber dressed as witch jailed

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A man who disguised himself in a 'witch outfit' with a machete in his handbag has been given a life-sentence for carrying out a terrifying armed in a supermarket.

Nicholas Overton, 39, donned a long black robe, blonde wig and pointed hat as a disguise when he walked into the Co-op store in Newport on 7th July.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the serial robber had travelled from London and pulled out a machete during the raid.

He pleaded guilty to robbery, having an offensive weapon and dangerous driving, and must serve a minimum of four years.

The court heard Overton's "appalling" criminal record shows sentences for more than 20 robberies.

The latest incident was captured on CCTV and Overton made off with a quantity of cash but he was caught after two shoppers recorded the registration of his Vauxhall Vectra.

The defendant was followed doing 70mph (112kmh) in a 30mph (48kmh) zone and a stinger was used to burst the car's tyres.

Overton was found hiding in the corner of a garden in Caerleon.

Hilary Roberts, defending, said his client had an addiction to class A drugs, which had been "the scourge" of his life.

Sentencing Judge Jeremy Jenkins said he was in no doubt Overton was a "dangerous offender" who posed a significant risk of harm

He was given a life sentence with a minimum of four years, and after his release he will remain on licence for the rest of his life.

A MAN who disguised himself in a 'witch outfit' with a machete in his handbag, before carrying out a terrifying robbery at a Newport shop, has been given a life-sentence.

Cardiff man pleads guilty to terrorism offences

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Samata Ullah, 34, from Cardiff has pleaded guilty to five terrorism offences on Monday 20th March.

Ullah was arrested in Cardiff, on 22 September 2016, by officers from the MPS Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) supported by the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit [WECTU].

On 29 April 2016, officers from the Kenyan Anti-Terrorism Police arrested a man in Kenya. His electrical devices showed that he was in regular contact with someone of a similar extremist mind-set and the pair had had discussions about developing the specialist skills to assist ISIS in their campaign of terror.

The Kenyan Office of the director of public prosecutor shared this information with international partners who then supplied the information to the authorities in the UK. Officers from the MPS Counter Terrorism Command, supported by WECTU, launched an investigation into Samata Ullah - the man the Kenyan suspect had been speaking to.

During the course of their investigation into Ullah's activities, officers established Ullah was not just a supporter of ISIS but an active member. They found evidence that he assisted others, who shared his mind-set, teaching them how to keep their actions and communications secret.

He assisted in the development of a web site with the purpose of helping people prepare for acts of terrorism - specifically hacking into computers. Numerous documents and videos found on his devices and his own communications revealed his radical mind-set and items found by officers when they searched Ullah's home included a USB cuff link on which he had saved infamous ISIS publications.

Commander Dean Haydon, MPS Counter Terrorism Command, said: "Just because Ullah's activity was in the virtual world we never underestimated how dangerous his activity was. He sat in his bedroom in Wales and created online content with the sole intention of aiding people who wanted to actively support ISIS and avoid getting caught by the authorities.

"This is just the sort of information that may have helped people involved in planning devastating, low technical level, attacks on crowded places as we have seen in other cities across the world.

"This conviction is a success, but we need to keep succeeding, which makes it important that we all remain vigilant and people act at the earliest opportunity by calling us confidentially if they are concerned about any suspicious activity."

Ullah pleaded guilty to the following offences:-

Membership of a proscribed organisation. On or before 22 September 2016 Ullah belonged or professed to belong to a proscribed organisation namely ISIS. Contrary to section 11 Terrorism Act 2000.

Terrorist Training. Between 31 December 2015 and 22 September 2016 Ullah provided instruction or training in the use of encryption programmes, and at the time he provided the instruction or training, he knew that a person receiving it intended to use the skills in which he is being instructed or trained for or in connection with the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism or for assisting the commission or preparation by others of such acts.

Preparation for terrorism. Between 31 December 2015 and 22 September 2016 Ullah, with the intention of assisting another or others to commit acts of terrorism, engaged in conduct in preparation for giving effect to his intention namely, by researching an encryption programme, developing an encrypted version of his blog site and publishing the instructions around the use of programme on his blog site. Contrary to section 5 Terrorism Act 2006.

On or before 22 September 2016, Ullah had in his possession an article namely one Universal Serial Bus (USB) cufflink that had an operating system loaded on to it for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism, contrary to section 57 Terrorism Act 2000.

On or before 22 September 2016, Ullah had in his possession articles namely a book about guided missiles and a PDF version of a book about advanced missile guidance and control for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism, contrary to section 57 Terrorism Act 2000.

Detective Superintendent Lee Porter - Head of WECTU said: "Ullah's activities came as a shock for those who knew him, including his family and the local community. His actions and desires do not represent the people of Cardiff or Wales who have repeatedly voiced and demonstrated their resilience to extremist views.

"The police and the security and intelligence agencies depend on information from you. Be our eyes and ears and help keep yourself, your family and your local community safe. Please visit the Action Counters Terrorism website for more information on how you can help us."

More information on what to look out for can be found at where you can report your concerns online or by calling police confidentially on 0800 789321.

Sentencing has been set for 28 April at the Old Bailey.