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
Kachin fighting could reach city
Rebels control roads near state capitalKachin rebel troops at their HQ in Laiza
- Daniel Wynn, Myitkyina
- October 10, 2012
Kachin Independence Army rebels now control some of the main roads outside Myitkyina, the capital of the resource-rich region.
According to locals, government troops marching down a main road leading to the Â jade mining town of Lone KhinÂ engaged with rebels on Tuesday. A school at the entrance of the town was hit by mortar fire. One civilian man was reportedly killed but no schoolchildren were hurt in the fighting, which took place around 6 a.m.
â€śWe are living with the constant fear of crossfire,â€ť said Naw Ji, a businessman in the town.
The rebels have been attempting to regain control over territories which locals say were encroached on by the army during the 17-year ceasefire that collapsed last year.
Hkun Awng, a Kachin peace mediator of the Peace Talk Creation Group based in Myitkyina, said clashes have become more frequent and intense and there is no prospect of them ending soon.
No conclusive results were reached in a number of peace talks between the two parties to renew the ceasefire. Awng says that future talks can only be successful if the rebels are given a chance to talk directly with government army representatives, not just with civilian government ministers acting as peace negotiators for President Thein Sein.
â€śThe KIA believes army officials will have more influence and legitimacy,â€ť he said.
He added that he was told today by Aung Min, the top government negotiator, that the next round of peace talks will possibly include an army official representing the armyâ€™s deputy commander-in-chief.
The fighting has created an estimated 100,000 refugees across Kachin state. Two weeks ago, authorities stopped locals in the newly affected areas from travelling to refugee camps in Myitkyina.
â€śUnder the government order, we are not allowed to accept new refugees. And we donâ€™t know why,â€ť said Sharo Naw La, a refugee camp supervisor in Myitkyina.
Rice shortage hits Kachin state
Conflict continues in Myanmar's Kachin state