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
Anti-nuclear protestors end hunger strike
Former judge calls for mediation in Tamil Nadu reactor standoffAnti-nuke protestors hold night vigil and candle march on May 14
- ucanews.com reporter, Idinthakarai
- May 15, 2012
Activists said they would continue with relay fasts at Idinthakarai, a Catholic fisherfolk-dominated coastal village,Â to protestÂ the 2,000-megawatt nuclear plant in the southern Indian state.
The Koodankulam nuclear plant, built with Russian technology, was scheduled to start operations in December, but they were suspended indefinitely after widespread protests overÂ safety concerns.
â€śYesterday, 64 women and three men ended theirÂ indefinite hunger strike after Justice A.P. Shah [former chief justice of the Madras high court] appealed to us to make space for mediation,â€ť activist Victoria Pushparayan said.
Protestors are demanding the total shutdown of the project, although some speculate that they may go for a compromise if a safety drill is conductedÂ before the plant Â goes online and if the government makes public theÂ liability agreement if anythingÂ happens in the future.
Justice Shah assured protestors that he would mediate for an early settlement of their demands, said Pushparayan, a former priest and a leader of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE).
He said Shah would head a panel of mediators and initiate talks with the government for a settlement on the issue. Meanwhile, last week the federal government approved the first of two plants to go online in mid-June.
Both the federal and state governments have been on a collision course with the anti-nuclear protestors. More than 250 cases with charges of sedition and attempted murder have been registered against the PMANE leader, and the state government has deployed 3,000 armed police in Koodankulam.
On May 8, the Tamil Nadu government declared the protest illegalÂ citing a sectionÂ in the Indian penal code that bars assembly of more than four people.
Still, around 3,000 villagers assembled Monday at Lourde Matha Church grounds, Idinthakarai, the epicentre of anti-nuclear protests and organized a night vigil and candle march.
Pushparayan said that PMANE would continue its legal battle against the power project in both the high court and the Supreme Court.
â€śWe have no intentionÂ of stopping our struggle. We will continue our legal battle to meet our demands in a peaceful manner,â€ť he said.
The hunger strike began on May 1 with 35 people. The number swelled to 337 two days later, but most had to be hospitalized, and only 67 were left on May 14.
Police charge protest bishop