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
General says Rohingya crisis is under control
UN rights envoy reaches area hit by ethnic violenceA mother seeks medical attention for her baby at a makeshift camp in Rakhine (photo by Daniel Wynn)
- Daniel Wynn, Yangon
- July 31, 2012
He gave an official death toll of at least 77 people with 60,000 left homeless and thousands of houses burned down since clashes erupted between Muslims and Buddhists in the west of the country in June.
Speaking at a press conference in Yangon, as UN human rights envoy Thomas Ojea Quintana arrived inÂ the area for the first time, the general told gathered diplomats that â€śwe have a full security arrangement in Rakhine State.â€ťÂ Provisions include a night-time curfew in the affected areas.
The general attributed the conflict to a recent rapid rise in the local Muslim population.Â In Buthidaung and Maungdaw, the two main Rohingya townships in the area - which Quintana is due to visit on his tour - Â General Thein Htay said Muslims now make up 94 percent of the local population and Rakhine Buddhists only 4 percent.
Rohingyas have been claiming persecution for years, including the denial of citizenship and restricted access to food and aid.Â The UN describes them as one of the world's most persecuted ethnic minorities.
Hla Maung, a Muslim man living in a relief camp in the state capital Sittwe, said: Â â€śwe want to live normally,â€ť he said. â€śBut the authorities said we still canâ€™t go back home because of security conditions.â€ť
During interviews over the weekend, both Buddhist and Muslims in Rakhine state said they feared that bloody riots could restart at any time, once the security presence is stepped down. Many added that true reconciliation would be a long time coming.