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
China blamed for Kachin peace talks hitch
Invites to UN and US said to anger BeijingGovernment and Kachin rebel leaders at an earlier meeting in Ruili, China
- Daniel Wynn, Yangon
- April 8, 2013
Peace talks over the weekend between the government and Kachin rebel leaders in the northern part of the country were postponed, reportedly due to objections from China that representatives from the United Nations and some Western governments were invited to observe.
“China is trying to interfere in Myanmar’s internal affairs, contrary to its foreign policy of non-interference in the sovereign affairs of other nations," said Hkun Awng, a Kachin peace mediator of the Peace Talk Creation Group based in Myitkyina.
Kachin Independence Army (KIA) leaders reportedly told the government late last month that in addition to Chinese observers, officials from the United Nations, the United States, the United Kingdom and other European governments should be invited to the talks that were scheduled to be held on Saturday in Myitkyina, the provincial city of Kachin state.
China has already sponsored two rounds of peace talks this year in the border town of Ruili in Yunnan Province, after leaders of the KIA asked for credible international observers in their meetings with Naypyidaw.
China refused to join the Myikyina peace talks if other international entities were invited and would not recognize the event if it were held without a Chinese presence, according to a statement released on Saturday by 13 Kachin civil society groups.
“China’s obstructive actions and behaviors have created a state of hopelessness for Kachin ethnic minorities and the majority of Burmese longing for peace,” the statement said, adding that future peace talks between the rebels and the government can deliver concrete results only if international observers such as the United States and European Union can participate in them.
The Chinese embassy in Myanmar said the peace talks delay was primarily due to logistics and reports of Chinese objections lacked "factual basis."
“As the close neighbor and true friend of Myanmar, China fully respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Myanmar and supports the Myanmar government in its efforts to maintain national unity and ethnic harmony,” it added.
Hla Maung Shwe, an official from the state-backed Myanmar Peace Center in Yangon, told ucanews.com the Kachin peace talks were delayed because the invited international observers “were not ready” to attend.
Hla Maung Shwe, whose group has been playing a leading role in peace negotiations with armed ethnic minorities, declined to comment on the reported Chinese objections. The peace talks have been resceduled for late April.