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 say state secrecy must end
Government told to open up on how it spends public fundsProtesters gather in Chilaw to denounce the state's lack of fiscal transparency
- ucanews.com reporter, Chilaw
- Sri Lanka
- August 13, 2012
Protesters including members of the media along with Buddhist and Christian leaders, gathered in Chilaw, northwest of the capital Colombo. The protest was organized by the Puttalam District Journalist Association.
‚ÄúThe public want to know why the government hides information. They have a right to ask for the facts because people pay taxes to support the government,‚ÄĚ said Prasad Purnimal, the Association's secretary and a local BBC correspondent.
‚ÄúMany a time journalists have been knocked back when they inquire about the misuse of public funds and corruption in government offices,‚ÄĚ he said.
He added that recently a hospital director banned journalists from his hospital after a group of reporters turned up to conduct interviews about the purchase of medical equipment.
Activists are also concerned about a recent escalation of violence and threats against journalists.
Fourteen journalists have been killed in Sri Lanka since 2006, according to Amnesty International.
Sri Lanka ranked 163rd out of 178 countries in the 2011 Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders. This marks a drop from 158th in 2010.
At the rally, Venerable Badiwewa Diyasena Thero, chief monk at Kandakkuliya temple, said restrictions on the right to information allows corruption and illegal activities to thrive.
‚ÄúJournalists face many challenges when they discover the truth. There are growing reports of terrible incidents and media workers live in fear for their lives and independence,‚ÄĚ he said.
‚ÄúAs religious leaders we cannot just stay in our temples when the truth has been hidden.‚ÄĚ
Charitha Herath, a secretary at the Ministry of Media and Information, recently¬†cited threats to national security if the general public knew what the government had done in the past, was doing now or was planning to do in the future.
Journalists react to news websites clampdown
Women face many media challenges
Journalists call for media freedom bill