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
Rights group demands Papua trial transparency
Justice must be blind in politically charged caseFather Neles Tebay
- Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta
- January 30, 2012
The five were arrested in October when police moved in to break up what they called the third Papuan Peopleâs Congress after several delegates raised the Morning Star flag, a symbol of the Papua independence movement.
During the crackdown, police fired warning shots, prompting many of the 1,500 participants to flee into nearby hills.
The five who go on trial today are: Forkorus Yaboisembut, who the congress elected president of the Federal Republic of West Papua; Eddison G Waromi, who was elected prime minister; August Makbrowen Senay, who coordinated the congressâ logistics desk; Dominikus Serabut, secretary of the board of customs in Wamena; and Selphius Bobii, the congress chairman.
Charged with breaking Article 106 of the Criminal Code, which deals with rebellion, they will appear before the District Court in Jayapura, capital of Papua province and face up to 20 years in prison if they are convicted.
The trial is a sensitive one for the government and is likely to arouse strong feelings in Papua, which has special autonomy status and where political violence and accusations of alleged human rights abuses have all too frequently been reported.
âOpen monitoring is necessary to ensure that the legal process is transparent and fair, because the trialâs atmosphere will surely be politically charged,â KontraS said in a statement recently.
The commission has urged the Indonesian government to allow media and the international community to cover the trial as part of efforts taken to make information available to the public and commitments to peacefully deal with issues in Papua.
âWe also urge the Indonesian government to ensure that all law enforcement officers will not be influenced by political interests,â the commission continued.
Coordinator of the Papuan Peace Network Father Neles Tebay agreed that transparency is important.
âIt is not only because of politics. Itâs needed to allow people to follow the trial,â he said after hearing the commissionâs demands.
However he questioned the trial itself, saying it is likely to complicate political issues and become an obstacle for dialogue between the Indonesian government and Papuans which he says is the only way to resolve ongoing disputes.
âThe trial will not help. A dialogue will!â asserted the rector of the Fajar Timur School of Philosophy and Theology in Abepura near Jayapura.
Peace dialogue needs careful preparation
Schools ransacked in Papua crackdown