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
Officials seek end to school violence
Jakarta schools witness rise in deadly fightsSenior High School 6 was the scene of a fatal stabbing on Monday
- Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
- September 28, 2012
On Monday, a student reportedly stabbed to death 15-year-old Alawy Yusianto Putra, a 12th-grader at Senior High School 6. Two of his friends were seriously injured during the confrontation with a rival high school in East Jakarta.
Then two days later, 12th-grade student Deni Januar was killed in another rival school brawl in an area nearby.
âThis is already a criminal act â manslaughter â and both principals must take preventive measures,â Deputy House Speaker Taufik Kurniawan told reporters on Monday.
He called on the education minister to revamp schools as Indonesia struggles to find the cause of these deadly attacks and how to stop them.
Last year, the National Commission on Child protection (KPA) recorded 26 fatalities in the capitalâs schools following 139 fights.
Deni Januarâs killing on Wednesday took this yearâs death toll so far to 27, and with 128 fights already, it looks like the number of violent incidents is going to surpass the tally in 2011.
Following this weekâs killings, government officials and police have visited the schools involved seeking ways to end the rivalries among students.
Yesterday police arrested Fitra Ramadhani, Putraâs alleged killer, after he fled to Yogyakarta in central Java. He was then brought back to the capital for questioning.
Police have also arrested three students at Kartika Zeni School in East Jakarta in relation to Januarâs killing on Wednesday.
Franciscan Father Vinsensius Darmin Mbula of the National Council of Catholic Education said that given schools have turned into battlegrounds they must also be the starting point for finding a solution to this worrying trend.
School rivalries, played out through increasingly violent confrontations, have become a tradition passed down through generations of students, he said.
âSchools must therefore pay serious attention to it and change their traditions through â among other things â an intensive counseling program,â said Father Mbula.
Arist Merdeka Sirait, chairman of the KPA, blamed the education system which he said had created an unhealthy environment compounded by the violence children see around them every day on television and in the streets of what is one of Asiaâs largest cities.
âChildren like to imitate what they see,â he said.
Minister of Education and Culture Muhammad Nuh has tried to deflect criticism away from a focus solely on the performance of schools, adding that the violence within school gates originates with problems that start outside.
âAll parties â families, society and the police â must get involved,â he said.