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
New violence erupts in Assam
Aid workers cannot reach affected areas as death toll risesGuwahati's streets were emptied by a strike to protest against violence in Assam
- ucanews.com reporter, Guwahati
- August 28, 2012
One person died and four were badly wounded in a village in the Kokrajhar district, one of the main flashpoints, after unknown gunmen opened fire.
Local reports say grenades were thrown and at least a dozen houses were torched, forcing villagers to take shelter in a railway station.
The death toll in the clashes between Bodo tribesmen and Muslim settlers from neighboring Bangladesh has now reached 89, with more than 400,000 people rendered homeless.
The latest conflicts began on July 20 in the western Assam districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Dhubri and Baksa. These are part of the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts, an autonomous region that has been the scene of ethnic violence for more than 20 years.
There is a growing clamor for an end to the clashes. The Hindu radical group Bajrang Dal - Party Of The Strong And Stout - called a state-wide strike yesterday to express solidarity with those affected.
The United Movement for Peoples Rights, an umbrella group comprising 30 organizations, announced a 12-hour strike today, in protest at the governmentâ€™s alleged inability to control the unrest.
M.O. Jacob, a Catholic aid worker in the area, has claimed that the clashes, along with strikes, roadblocks and curfews, are hindering relief efforts.
Salesian Father Lukose Cheruvalel, who works among children in Guwahati, said his team was forced to cancel a mission into the affected areas because conditions made it impossible.
Temporary camps have been set up to accommodate the displaced people, but Sister Jacoba, a Missionaries of Charity nun working among the victims, said relief workers are not able to reach them.
Meanwhile, retired Protestant Bishop Nityanda Borgeory said officials at state and district levels have asked aid workers to help restore peace by promoting dialogue and counseling in the affected areas. In a meeting with members of the Joint Mission Peace Team,Â Assamâ€™s chief minister Tarun Gogoi urged them â€śto come forward and do relief work for peace and harmony.â€ť
But the bishop stressed that this would be no easy task. â€śPeople have become aggressive and some of them are not willing to forgive and forget,â€ť he said. â€śThey are disturbed and our work is at a standstill.â€ť
Assam sees renewed violence