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
Rights advocate warns of China violence
Protesters today face the same fate as victims of the Tiananmen massacre in 1989
- ucanews.com staff reporter, Asia Desk, Bangkok
- June 3, 2011
Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said June 1 in a statement: "There is little reason to believe the lethal response to peaceful protests in 1989 could not happen again.
"The recent crackdown speaks volumes for the Chinese government's contempt for rule of law, and the heavy-handed responses to protests in Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, and elsewhere show the government is no more willing than it was two decades ago to peacefully resolve popular discontent."
The governmentâ€™s denial of the Tiananmen Square crackdown and the systematic persecution of dissidents in its aftermath have paved the way for the forceful suppression of recent anti-government protests.
Since mid-February, the communist party has taken pre-emptive measures to contain the agitation for political freedom that has engulfed the Middle East and North Africa.
According to HRW, dozens of lawyers, activists and bloggers have been detained on criminal charges, more than 20 people have been abducted by the state, and up to 200 have been subjected to repressive measures including house arrest.
The state has also tightened internet censorship, fired liberal news editors and further restricted activities of foreign journalists in an effort to disrupt and control communications
The Tiananmen Mothers, founded by the relatives of Tiananmen victims, described the past few months as the worst since the 1989 massacre.
â€śIt has been the harshest period since 4 June 1989. Silence has reigned across the country," the group said in a report which links the Tiananmen killings and subsequent cover-up to China's current wave of repression.
Richardson also recognises the parallels between the communist partyâ€™s methods to silence current â€śsources of instabilityâ€ť and the Tiananmen cover-up.
Warning of further violence, she said: "By refusing to repudiate the military crackdown on 4 June 1989, the Chinese government effectively says that the same brutal strategy remains on the table."