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
State fails to protect land rights, activists say
Indigenous people are most at riskFather Peter C. Aman said many indigenous Indonesians face marginalization
- By Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
- October 30, 2012
Evidence found by the group in Flores, Kalimantan, Papua and Sumatra islands showed that many indigenous people face marginalizationÂ and often become the victims in land dispute cases, said its director Franciscan Father Peter C. Aman.
â€śThey were powerless when facing plantation companies working together with, particularly, the local governments," Aman told a seminar in Jakarta. "They were forced to give up their ancestral lands, which were then turned into plantations and extractive industrial areas like mining operations."
The constitution demands that the state recognize and respect traditional communities along with their traditional customary rights as long as these remain in existence and are in accordance with the societal development and the principles of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, and shall be regulated by law.
"There is a wide gap between what it is written and its implementation,â€ť Aman said.
However, Â Sri Maharani Dwi Putri from the Center for Research and Development of the National Land Agency insisted that the central government has tried to protect indigenous people through the law.
â€śWe, of course, try to respect all people along with the development process,â€ť she said.
She blamed land dispute cases on the lack of regional regulations that would ensure indigenous peopleâ€™s rights.