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April 26, 2017 [GMT]
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Racist customer spits in Lankan shopkeeper's face in UK
[Thursday 2017-04-20 16:00]


This is the shocking moment a vile racist spat in the face of a Sri Lankan shopkeeper in an off-licence - because she did not have the right brand of cigarettes.
CCTV footage shows thug Christopher James Callaghan abusing shop staff and then spitting over the counter in a woman's face.

Callaghan, 30, became angry when staff at Stanley Foods in Bootle, Merseyside, told him they did not have the brand of cigarettes he wanted.

This is the shocking moment a vile racist spat in the face of a Sri Lankan shopkeeper in an off-licence - because she did not have the right brand of cigarettes. CCTV footage shows thug Christopher James Callaghan abusing shop staff and then spitting over the counter in a woman's face. Callaghan, 30, became angry when staff at Stanley Foods in Bootle, Merseyside, told him they did not have the brand of cigarettes he wanted.

  

After Nilani Nilalarajah opened the counter to prove to him that the cigarettes were out of stock, Callaghan hurled vile abuse at her and then spat in her face. A furious Ms Nilalarajah threw an object from the counter back at the yob before calling police. On Wednesday Callaghan appeared at Sefton Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault in relation to the spitting incident on October 10 last year. He also admitted a racially aggravated offence in relation to a previous incident in the shop, when he hurled racist abuse at Ms Nilalarajah.

The court heard that Ms Nilalarajah was 'disgusted' by Callaghan's behaviour and did not want him in the shop again. Callaghan, of Roby Street, was jailed for 16 weeks, suspended for two years. District Judge Miriam Shelvey ordered him to spend 35 days of supervision with the probation service, and to pay the victim 拢250. The judge also upheld a restraining order which forbids Callaghan from contacting the victim. The court heard he had a long criminal record, which included a racially aggravated offence in 2013. Aksha Shahid, senior district crown prosecutor with the CPS, praised Ms Nilalarajah for being brave enough to come forward and report the offence.

She said after the hearing: 'This was a disgusting assault on a woman who was simply doing her job and providing a vital service to the local community. 'The victim was serving behind the counter at the convenience store in Bootle and Callaghan asked for a brand of cigarettes that the store didn't have. She told Callaghan this but he wouldn't believe her and became abusive, calling her racist names and then he spat at her. 'We call this offending hate crime and it's often committed against victims that the defendant doesn't even know personally and is motivated by hatred of their race, religion or sexual orientation. 'The court accepted that this was a hate crime and increased the sentence by a year as a result.

'Callaghan was known to be an aggressive nuisance in the shop and he has now been sentenced by the courts for behaviour that will not be tolerated. 'The victim was badly shaken up by the ordeal but supported the prosecution and I'd like to thank her for her courage in coming forward and reporting the incident. 'There is also a restraining order in place to prevent the defendant approaching the victim or the shop for the foreseeable future. 'We hope this case gives others the courage to come forward and report this type of despicable behaviour.'

  
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New position for Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka
[Wednesday 2017-04-26 17:00]

Cabinet approval has been granted for a proposal made by President Maithripala Sirisena to create a new position which will work alongside the Sri Lankan Tri-forces. The position which has a tenure of two years, will be headed by Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to head this position, said Cabinet Media Spokesperson Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne.



Sri Lanka’s return to GSP+ hangs on EU vote tomorrow
[Wednesday 2017-04-26 17:00]

The fate of Sri Lanka’s application for the Generalised System of Preferences plus (GSP+) tariff concession for European markets will be decided in Brussels on Thursday, when a resolution submitted by 52 EU Parliamentarians is taken up for a vote. A bloc of Parliamentarians from the European United Left/Nordic Green Left mounted an eleventh hour bid last week to prevent Sri Lanka being granted the import duty concessions on the basis of the Government’s slow progress on democratic and legislative reform.



Modi, Ranil hold talks in New Delhi Top News
[Wednesday 2017-04-26 17:00]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held talks on bilateral issues with his visiting Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe in New Delhi. "Held comprehensive talks with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on ways to strengthen India-Sri Lanka ties for the benefit of our citizens," Modi tweeted after the meeting held at Hyderabad House.



President summons Parliament on April 28
[Wednesday 2017-04-26 17:00]

An extraordinary gazette has been issued by order of President Maithripala Sirisena, to summon the Parliament on April 28. Presidential Secretariat P.B. Abeykoon issued the gazette to keep the Parliament informed of the order of declaring garbage disposal an essential service.



Cabinet approves signing of several MoUs with India
[Wednesday 2017-04-26 17:00]

Cabinet has approved the signing of several Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with India, the Government said today. The agreements will look to strengthen the economic cooperation between both countries.



Referendum after Parliament passes new Constitution
[Wednesday 2017-04-26 17:00]

The first-ever election faced by the Good Governance Government this year will be the referendum to be held for the new Constitution, Health Minister and Co-Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne stated. Addressing a meeting at the Health Ministry recently, he said the referendum for the new Constitution will be held after the new Constitution is passed in Parliament.



Lankan murder suspect in Canada testifies in own defence
[Tuesday 2017-04-25 17:00]

A man on trial for murder took the stand Monday to testify in his own defence, ctvnews reported. Amalan Thandapanithesigar said he had a long-simmering dispute with his neighbour, Jeyarasan Manikarajah, whom he felt was continually disrespecting his wife. The pair knew each other in their native Sri Lanka, and that familiarity seems to have bred contempt. Thandapanithesigar said that Manikarajah frequently whistled at his wife, and he testified Monday that in his culture it was very disrespectful.



Meeting held at Defense Ministry to discuss progress on land release in North and East
[Tuesday 2017-04-25 17:00]

A meeting regarding the ongoing release of land in the North and East occupied by the armed forces was held at the Ministry Monday under the patronage of Minister of Prisons Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs DM Swaminathan.



PM leaves for India
[Tuesday 2017-04-25 17:00]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe left for India this afternoon from the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake. The Hindu earlier said Mr. Wickremsinghe will visit India for a private visit from April 25 to 29 but will spend April 26 in New Delhi for official meetings.



Trinco oil tank farm a joint venture with India
[Tuesday 2017-04-25 17:00]

The government will sign an agreement with India to form a joint venture company to operate and manage oil storage tanks in Trincomalee , Public Enterprise Development Minister Kabir Hashim said yesterday. The minister said that does not mean that we are giving away of any of country’s ports to India or any other country. Addressing a press Conference he also said “we are not going to assign full control of the totality of our oil tanks in Trincomalee to IOC (India Oil ompany),”



Sri Lankan Navy sailor dies during training in India
[Tuesday 2017-04-25 17:00]

A Sri Lankan Navy sailor has died while undergoing diving training at a naval base in Kochi, India today, PTI reported. According to Southern Naval Command (SNC) Spokesperson, the deceased, identified as 39-year-old Petty Officer (Diving) YPNR Weerasinghe, while carrying out a practice dive in the Ernakulam Channel as part of routine training procedure, failed to surface.



India Has Been Our Enemy Since Ancient Times Gammanpila
[Tuesday 2017-04-25 17:00]

The agreement between India and Sri Lanka would not be allowed to go through without the consent of the public, leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya, MP Udaya Gammanpila says. The MP stated this at a press conference held in Colombo today (24). He also said that the true intention of the Indian Prime Minister’s forthcoming visit was to take advantage of Sri Lanka, rather than to celebrate Vesak.



Indian oil operations continue despite CPC strike
[Monday 2017-04-24 17:00]

Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) said its operations were continuing despite the strike launched by Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). LIOC said that if the CPC is unable to provide fuel to the LIOC petrol sheds it will look to obtain the oil from the Trincomalee storage facility. Workers of Sri Lanka’s state-run petroleum firm launched an indefinite strike today against the Government’s proposed deal with India to jointly operate an oil storage facility at the strategic eastern port town of Trincomalee.



SL-Indo-Japanese Pact soon, says PM
[Monday 2017-04-24 17:00]

A tripartite agreement between Sri Lanka, India and Japan was on the cards to start up development projects in the island, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Saturday. Premier Wickremesinghe came up with this remark at a New Year festival in Suduwella, Maradana during the weekend.



Meethotamulla: Japanese experts present report to President
[Monday 2017-04-24 17:00]

The Japanese Experts Group presented their report on Meetotamulla Garbage Dump to President Maithripala Sirisena today at the President’s Official Residence in Colombo. Head of the Experts Group, Mitsutake Numahata handed over the report and made a power-point presentation explaining the recommendations of the group.



Sri Lanka’s ambition to be economic, political hub, discussed with Germany
[Monday 2017-04-24 17:00]

Sri Lanka has discussed its ambition to be an economic and political hub in the Indian Ocean region with Germany. The German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Jorn Rohde told The Island yesterday that the deliberations had taken place on the sidelines of the first ever Regional German Ambassadors Conference on the Indian Ocean Region, in Colombo recently, with the participation of 40 Ambassadors and an equal number of business leaders.



Hindu Makkal Katchi oppose Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka
[Monday 2017-04-24 17:00]

Accusing the Sri Lankan government of suppressing Hinduism and following a policy of Buddhist chauvinism, Hindu Makkal Katchi leader Arjun Sampath on Saturday opposed the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the island nation to take part in the Buddhist festival.



Fourth round of talks between India and SL on ETCA today
[Monday 2017-04-24 17:00]

The fourth round of official talks between India and Sri Lanka regarding the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) will take place today (24) in New Delhi, officials said yesterday. Secretary to the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade Chandani Wijewardena told Daily Mirror that this would be the fourth round of talks on ETCA between the two sides. She said the talks would go on for three days and would end on April 26. She said only basic proposals were being discussed at the moment and that nothing would be finalized. “These are talks that were in progress at the moment between the officials of the two countries,” she said.



Key suspect in Lasantha killing given diplomatic post by Gotabhaya
[Sunday 2017-04-23 18:00]

The chief suspect in Lasantha Wickrematunga’s assassination was given a diplomatic post by the then defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa but it was withdrawn soon after Mahinda Rajapaksa won the January 2010 election, fresh evidence has revealed. Rajapaksa has denied any involvement in the January 2009 assassination of Sunday Leader editor Wickrematunga and a string of other attacks against dissident journalists, but new evidence shows he nominated the main suspect as an intelligence officer at the Sri Lanka embassy in Thailand.



Germany calls for political will to implement Sri Lanka’s 2015 promises
[Sunday 2017-04-23 18:00]

Germany believes its time for urgent action to implement the changes promised by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government in 2015. The government needed more focus and should invest in political will to move forward with its announced reform agenda, the German Ambassador to Sri Lankan Jorn Rohde told the "Sunday Island" yesterday."Its time for urgent action to implement the changes promised in 2015."


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