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
Sri Lanka joins in global women's protest
One Billion Rising against violence to womenWomen attend the vigil in Colombo
- ucanews.com reporter, Colombo
- Sri Lanka
- February 15, 2013
Women’s rights activists on Thursday urged the government to be more vigilant in protecting women from abuse during a candlelight vigil in the capital. The event was part of a global campaign to end violence against women.
Sachini Perera, an activist from the Women and Media Collective and organizer of the vigil, said that one in three women in Sri Lanka experience some form of sexual assault.
“We shouldn’t let this continue and be silent about it. We are here to ask policymakers to stop violence against women,” she said.
She added that violence against women rose six percent last year over the previous year. “The situation is very bad, the highest it has ever been,” she said.
The participants at the vigil joined a global alliance of rights groups, activists and concerned citizens taking part in the One Billion Rising campaign, inaugurated this year to highlight the estimated one billion women worldwide who have suffered sexual or gender-based violence.
Activists say gender violence is rife in Sri Lanka.
Four women – most of them below the age of 18 – were raped each day in 2012, according to police data.
Sister Gayani Silva blamed the legal system as well as attitudes among the male population to the social status of women for the rise in gender-based violence.
“More laws should be introduced, but in fact even with existing laws very little is being done and young men should be educated about women’s equality,” said Sr Gayani, who works with abused women and children.
Dr Udan Fernando, a specialist on international development issues and a participant at the vigil, said violence against women is linked with society's views on what it means to be a man.
He further advocated the importance of collective campaigns to end violence and said “when people act together, they get inspiration from each other to face such problems.”