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
Govt under fire over oil spill
Govt accused of inaction over leak that has harmed nature, livelihoods of manyWest Timor Care Foundation chief Ferdi Tanoni (Photo Albertus V. Rehi)
- by Albertus V. Rehi, Kupang
- July 23, 2012
â€śWe are really concerned that the Indonesian government has failed to take proactive action to deal with the issue,â€ť Dr Robert Spies, who was Chief Scientist for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, said on Saturday.
He was speaking at a discussion organized by the West Timor Care Foundation (YPTB), in Kupang, capital of East Nusa Tenggara province.
According to Australiaâ€™s Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, the Montara oil platform leaked an estimated 2,000 barrels a day from August 21 to November 3 that year following a blowout. The World Wildlife Fund said the resulting slick reached almost 90,000 square kilometers in size and entered Indonesian waters.
A team led by the Environment Ministry said the slick covered 16,420 square meters of Indonesian maritime territory, and YPTB, which supports poor fishermen in eastern Indonesia, estimated the spill affected the livelihoods of around 18,000 fishermen.
Spies, who served as an adviser to US government after the 2010 British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, suggested during the discussion that the Indonesian government work together with the Australians to deal with the fallout from the spill which has affected about 2,500 sea biota species.
YPTB chief Ferdi Tanoni, who calls the Timor Sea oil spill as â€śa forgotten tragedy,â€ť acknowledged that the Indonesian government has not yet shown any signs of seriously attempting address the issue which created financial losses amounting to US$1.7 billion. â€śThe Indonesian government cannot remain silent. Together with the Australian government, they must conduct research,â€ť he said.
Also attending the discussion was Leonard Haning, head of Rote Ndao district, the worst-affected area.
â€śPeople in the district are still suffering due to the spill. Their fish catches have decreased by 60 percent and seaweed cultivation has droppedÂ from 10 to three tons per hectare. The quality is also poor,â€ť he said.
The Montara platform was owned by Norwegian-Bermudan Seadrill, and operated by PTTEP Australasia.