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
Army steps up Kachin campaign
Rights group says 20,000 displaced in latest hostilities
- Mike McLachlan, London
- United Kingdom
- October 5, 2011
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said on Monday it was â€śdeeply concernedâ€ť at reports it has received from Kachin sources.
In the past two months, CSW says, the army has repeatedly attacked Kachin villages and civilians have been taken for forced labor, raped, tortured or killed.
â€śAt the same time,â€ť CSW said, â€śPresident Thein Sein has met democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, called for peace talks with ethnic nationalities, and responded to popular opinion by suspending plans for a major dam project at Myitsone, Kachin State, worth over ÂŁ2 billion [US$3.08 billion].â€ť
CSW cites a number of recent incidents.
On August 20, it says, soldiers stationed in a village in Man Si township fired mortars at a neighboring village, killing a six-year-old child in the village schoolteacherâ€™s house and wounding the teacher, her daughter, aged seven, and two other children.
On September 16, twelve Kachins aged between 14 and 70 were accused of supporting the Kachin Independence Army. They were arrested and tortured before being released three days later, CSW said.
The soldiers involved in the incident at Namhpathka village, Momauk township, were from Light Infantry Unit 387, sources told CSW.
On September 21, a villager and his wife, both aged 24, were seriously injured by landmines while collecting bamboo on a hillside near Jahtuzup, Phakant township. The woman lost a leg.
The mountain where the incident took place houses a Catholic shrine, CSW said.
The chairman of the Kachin Independence Organisationâ€™s (KIO) central committee, Lanyaw Zawng Hra, wrote to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week saying: â€śThe civil war â€¦ directly affects regional development and the stability of neighboring countries as well.
â€śTherefore the KIO is humbly calling for all stakeholders and international communities, such as the United Nations, ASEAN and our bordering countries to help us find a solution.â€ť
CSWâ€™s East Asia team leader, Benedict Rogers, said: â€śThe escalation in attacks is in marked contrast to the regimeâ€™s rhetoric about peace, and the signs of change that may be seen in other aspects of Burmese politics.
â€śIf the regime is genuine, it must match rhetoric with action.â€ť
Church increases Kachin refugee aid
Kachin Catholics pray for village's future