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
Displaced Tamils protest for access to land
Say government must reclassify 'high security zone' so families can return to their homesTamil families displaced by the civil war have taken up shelter in the jungle near their former homes
- ucanews.com reporter, Mannar
- Sri Lanka
- June 20, 2012
More than 140 people ‚Äď who say they have lived in Mannar since 2007 after the designation of the military zone during Sri Lanka‚Äôs civil war ‚Äď have been blocked from entering Mullikulam Village since Saturday.
Failure by the authorities to downgrade the area for civil occupation meant they remained internally displaced, the families said, enduring increasingly difficult conditions.
They responded by staging a sit-in protest opposite the Navy‚Äôs camp which then forced the families to relocate to a village nearby.
‚ÄúThis is a real curse,‚ÄĚ Agnesia Revel, a 50-year-old mother of four said sitting under a tree outside of Mullikulam. ‚ÄúOur aim is to gain access to our native village which has remained occupied by the military for years.‚ÄĚ
The group has erected temporary shelters by hanging cardboard and clothes over the branches of trees in the jungle, she said, adding access to a nearby church was only reopened on Sunday.
‚ÄúThese poor people face more difficulties without basic supplies," said A.E.Sunesh Soosai, a project coordinator at the Fisheries Solidarity Movement, who joined local priests and a monk in visiting the site yesterday.
‚ÄúThe government should be concerned about these people and take rapid action to move them to their own village,‚ÄĚ he added.
Located on the small strip of land which connects to India by a ferry service, Mullikulam has remained a strategic area for Sri Lanka‚Äôs armed forces since more than 400 families were forced to flee heavy fighting there in 2007.
Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said this month that the area of security-zone land had recently been drastically reduced from 4,096 hectares when fighting ended three years ago to the current 2,582 hectares.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates a total of 448,000 people were displaced by decades of fighting between government forces and the Tamil Tigers, 6,000 of which remain in welfare centers, mainly due to threat of land mines.
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