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
Protesters decry UN rights visit
UN accused of undermining reconciliationProtesters demonstrate outside the UN office in Colombo
- ucanews.com reporter, Colombo
- Sri Lanka
- September 21, 2012
At least 300 protesters rallied in front of the UN office, demanding an end to what they say are UN attempts to undermine the reconciliation process by accusing security forces of committing war crimes.
The three representatives from the UN Human Rights Commission met with government officials and Tamil politicians and toured former war zones during their visit this week.
A UN report last year found that government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels both committed numerous rights abuses during the civil war and immediately before its end in 2009.
It said at least 7,000 people were killed in the last five months of the conflict.
The report was followed by a resolution urging the Sri Lankan government to investigate alleged rights abuses on both sides.
The protesters yesterday said the country, and the armed forces in particular, are being unfairly criticized.
â€śIf the UN takes steps to punish armed forces members for allegedly committing war crimes and violating human rights, it will sabotage the peace now existing in the country,â€ť said Buddhist monk Hadigalle Vimalasara Thero who was among the protesters.
â€śLTTE terrorists did not honor any accepted norms of human rights but after the war the government rehabilitated more thanÂ 11,000 terrorists, removed mines, resettled people and rebuilt infrastructure,â€ť he told ucanews.com.
External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris had earlier told parliament that the government had invited the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, to visit Sri Lanka.
The purpose of the visit is for her to assess the steps taken to implement the recommendations of the governmentâ€™s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report, he said.
The visit by the three UNHCR officials this week was to lay the ground work for her visit, he added.
Thousands in march on embassies
UN passes war crime resolution