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
Myanmar mulls Rohingya return
Thein Sein agrees to pursue the idea of repatriation of ethnic refugee groupA Rohingya refugee boy carries firewood at a refugee camp (photo: Dr Habib Siddiqui)
- ucanews.com Asia Desk, Bangkok
- December 7, 2011
Hasina traveled to the administrative capital Naypyidaw for a three-day state visit that ended today, during which the regional neighbors also discussed closer cooperation on energy, trade and transportation, according to the Bangladesh national news agency.
â€śWe would â€¦ take back all Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh after verifying them and as per the agreed criterion between the two countries,â€ť Thein Sein was quoted as saying by the news agency.
Myanmar first expressed its willingness to consider repatriation when the state visit was announced in October, though few details have emerged about how the process would be carried out.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees has granted official refugee status to 28,000 Rohingya living in camps near the two countriesâ€™ border.
However, an estimated 200,000 unofficial refugees live in makeshift camps with no legal protections and little access to food and health care.
Grave human rights abuses have driven the largely Muslim Rohingya across the border to Bangladesh to escape forced labor, restrictions on movement and no acknowledgment of citizenship within Myanmar, among other abuses documented by human rights groups.
Phil Robertson, deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch, said the announcement raises serious questions in the international community about the legitimacy of the proposed repatriation.
â€śBangladesh has been willfully failing in its obligations to receive refugees,â€ť he said, adding that the root problem is â€śhuman rights abuses against the Rohingya in Burma, aided and abetted by the horrendous treatment they receive in Bangladesh.â€ť
â€śRather than working with the international community, these two governments have reached an in-the-dark agreement with no details and no recognition of human rights abuses.â€ť
Nural Haq, 19, a Rohingya living in Coxâ€™s Bazar, told ucanews.com that he would only return to Myanmar if the government guaranteed his safety.
â€śWe will go back to our country if the government assures us that we can live there in peace. We must be provided with all basic human rights.â€ť