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
Court orders probe into multiple killings
Dissent grows over 'unrestrained' security forcesAn army official checks documents in Manipur state
- Swati Deb, New Delhi
- October 2, 2012
Indiaâ€™s top court took action following the submission of a 410-page petition by lawyers representing two Manipur-based organizations rights organizations, which aims to establish a special investigative unit to probe the killings.
â€śItâ€™s a frightening situation that should shock the conscience of the entire nation,â€ť said Colin Gonsalves, a lawyer for the petitioners.
The petition is part of ongoing efforts to stem the violence in the northeast of India bordering Myanmar, a heavily militarized region wracked for decades by insurgencies.
The Asian Human Rights Commission estimates there is at least one security officer for every 20 civilians in Manipur.
The petition further cites case studies of innocent civilians killed by security forces and whose bodies showed signs of torture.
Federal and state officials have said they are aware of the court directive and intend to respond.
One state official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the Manipur government was addressing the issue, but a balance needed to be struck between protecting civilians and maintaining security in a highly sensitive area.
The dispute over security has focused on AFSPA, the controversial Armed Forces Special Power Act which critics say gives unfettered powers to state and federal security forces.
The government says the legislation, enacted in 1958, is necessary to counter secessionist movements in the region.Â The Defense MinistryÂ earlier this year called it a â€śvital tool for operations.â€ť
Activists have long sought the repeal of the act â€“ most notably Irom Sharmila, who has staged a 12-year hunger strike and continues to be force-fed by authorities. Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare and his team have also joined in opposition to the law.
Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, said earlier this year that the AFSPA was undemocratic and should be repealed.
â€śA law such as AFSPA has no role to play in a democracy and should be scrapped,â€ť he said in a speech to civil society groups in Guwahati on March 28.
â€śThe repeal of this law will not only bring domestic law more in line with international standards, but also send out a powerful message that instead of a military approach, the government is committed to respect for the right to life of all people of the country.â€ť
Church supports call for repeal of law blamed for custodial deaths in Manipur