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
Men top smoking table
Government says tobacco industry has defeated itA pack of cigarettes costs only US$1.30
- Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
- September 13, 2012
According to a study announced Tuesday, 67 percent -- 57.6 million â€“ of Indonesian men aged 15 and above smoke.
â€śWe must be ashamed,â€ť Health Minister Nafsiah Mboy said in a telephone interview. â€śThe government has failed to protect people. We have been defeated by the tobacco industry.â€ť
The tobacco industryâ€™s aggressive advertising and the cheap price of cigarettes contributed to Indonesiaâ€™s high smoking rate, she said.Â The average price of a pack of cigarettes in Indonesia is about 12,000 rupiah (US$1.30).
Mboy promised to fight for approval of the tobacco impact control bill, drafted in 2010.
The bill to reduce the number of smokers would require cigarette packs to feature a graphic warning, limit tobacco advertising and regulate smoking in buildings.
â€śI hope the bill will be able to make people aware of the cigarette menace,â€ť she said.
Acknowledging that some tobacco industries and farmers kept rejecting the billâ€™s approval, she said that peopleâ€™s health â€śis the most important matter."
â€śTobacco industries and farmers must understand that. They must also realize that cigarettes have killed many people in the world,â€ť she said.
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) for Indonesia showed a 13.1 percent increase (from 53.9 percent) in the proportion of male smokers since 1995Â and an increase from 1.7 percent to 2.7 percentÂ in female smokers.
GATS is a nationally representative household survey of non-institutionalized men and women aged 15 and above, designed to produce internationally comparable data on tobacco use and tobacco control measures. ItÂ was jointly conducted by the Central Statistics Agency and the Ministry of Health.
The high rate of male smokers in Indonesia is followed by India with 47.9 percent, the Philippines with 47.7 percent, Vietnam with 47.4 percent, Thailand with 45.6 percent and Poland with 33.5 percent.
A World Health Organization fact sheet issued in May found that tobacco kills nearly six million people each year, of whom more than five million are smokers and ex-smokers and more than 600,000 are non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke. Nearly 80 percent of the worldâ€™s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
Farmers fume against smoking bill