Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Group urges ASEAN rights body reform
Commission 'lacks transparency, has failed to produce draft declaration'Rights activists evaluate performance of AICHR in Jakarta yesterday
- Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
- May 8, 2012
As a result, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) is in need of urgent reform, they say.
The Solidarity for Asian People‚Äôs Advocacy Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (SAPA TFAHR) yesterday released a report, ‚ÄúA Commission Shrouded in Secrecy,‚ÄĚ which is an evaluation of the commission‚Äôs recent performance.
The report coincides with a meeting of the commission in Bangkok this week to thrash out a draft human rights declaration.
Haris Azhar, co-convenor of SAPA-TFAHR, said in Jakarta yesterday that the commission is too secretive and taking too much time in drafting a human rights declaration for ASEAN member countries.
‚ÄúThe AICHR has not done its job yet and what it is doing still cannot be seen by many,‚ÄĚ said Azhar.
It has also failed to engage the elements in civil society which could have been helpful in terms of gathering information on the human rights situation in each country, he added.
The coalition called for the intergovernmental body to become an independent human rights organization in order to fight for the rights of people in ASEAN countries more effectively.
Dinna Wisnu, a lecturer at Paramadina University¬†in Jakarta, said part of the commission‚Äôs failure to come up with a draft was down to governments associating the struggle for human rights with threats to the state.
‚ÄúOn so many issues, member countries have tended to exert pressure on human rights defenders,‚ÄĚ she said.
SAPA-TFAHR was established in 2007 to push for the regional bloc to create a human rights body as stated in the ASEAN Charter.