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
Fleeing Rohingyas fail to cross border
Officials deny entry to hundreds trying to escape sectarian violence in western Myanmar
- by ucanews.com reporters, Coxâ€™s Bazar and Dhaka
- June 12, 2012
Traveling for two days with little food or water, 14 fishing trawlers crossed the Naf River but were turned back from the southeastern Coxâ€™s Bazar district, border and coast guard sources said.
Bangladeshi authorities fear an influx of refugees will strain the country, which is already home to approximately 200,000-300,000 Rohingya people who left their homes in Myanmar after earlier ethnic violence.
Mohammad Isahak and Jafar Alam, two of the Rohingya people pushed back by Bangladeshi forces, said that around 20-25 boats full of Rohingya families left from Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees has called on the Bangladesh government to ease border restrictions and allow Rohingya refugees injured in attacks in Rakhine state.
"Security forces of both countries have increased strength at the border to keep the situation under control. Very few refugees were able to make their way to Bangladesh for refuge," said Craig Anders, country representative for UNHCR, in a report by the BBC's Bangla service.
Violence erupted between majority Buddhists and the largely Muslim minority Rohingya on Friday.
Media reports say the recent rape and murder of a Buddhist girl allegedly by three Muslim men sparked longstanding tensions.
A state of emergency was declared in Rakhine State on Sunday. At least seven people have reportedly been killed in the sectarian clashes,Â with 17 injured, and hundreds of homes burned.
Buddhists in the state largely consider the RohingyaÂ as foreigners, and the Myanmar government has denied them citizenship, refusing to acknowledge them as one of the countryâ€™s recognized ethnic groups.
It is estimated that thousands of Rohingya people try to leave Myanmar every year, heading for Bangladesh, India or Malaysia.
Clashes spark Rohingya refugee fears
Myanmar mulls Rohingya return