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 rally for political prisoners
Government denies claims that 900 are in custodyProtesters at the rally make their feelings known
- Sri Lanka
- September 13, 2012
Activists say there are at least 900 political detainees still in custody following the decades-long civil war that ended in 2009, although the government denies there are any.
â€śWe need to pressure the government,â€ť said Selvam Adaikalanathan, a parliamentarian from theÂ Tamil National Alliance. The support of the international community is needed, too, he said.
Protester Sinthani Chelvam said he has been searching for his son for three years.
â€śDuring the last phase of the war the army arrested my son who was wounded during the conflict but after that we didnâ€™t see him,â€ť he said.
"We appeal to the authorities to release them if they are not guilty or charge them in a court of law. Some political prisoners have been brutally attacked and some have died.â€ť
The Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management, Nimal Siripala de Silva, told parliament recently that there were no political prisoners in Sri Lanka.
However, he admitted there are 359 former Tamil Tiger â€ścriminalâ€ť suspects still being detained, 309 with cases pending against them.
Three new high courts will be established to prosecute those cases, officials have said.
Tamils make up 18 percent of the nation's 20 million people. During the 25-year civil war, insurgents fought to create a separate Tamil state in the northern part of the island nation. They were finally defeated in May 2009.
Pressure mounts to free political prisoners