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
Suu Kyi kicks off US tour
Obama may offer more concessionsReporters and well-wishers greet Aung San Suu Kyi as she prepares to fly out
- Min Set, Yangon
- September 17, 2012
The Nobel Peace Prize winner is due to receive a congressional gold medal and meet President Barack Obama just weeks ahead of a visit to the U.S. by Myanmarâ€™s reformist President Thein Sein.
Aung Tun Thet, a member of the National Economic and Social Advisory Council, which works closely with the president, said that the Obama administration might be expected to further reward Myanmar after lifting investment and finance sanctions by presidential decree in July.
â€śThe U.S. ban on Myanmarâ€™s imports may be lifted during her historic trip,â€ť he said.
Since an April by-election which saw a landslide victory for Suu Kyiâ€™s National League for Democracy, Myanmar has made a number of further steps towards democracy including the abolition of a pre-publication censorship board and an amnesty for more political prisoners.
â€śWe could get big opportunities if Suu Kyi reveals to foreign investors details of Myanmarâ€™s reforms,â€ť said veteran politician and Member of Parliament Thu Wai, chairman of the Democratic Party.
Major concerns remain, however. There is concern over the violence in Rakhine state where minority Muslim Rohingyas have been involved in deadly clashes with Buddhists that have left dozens dead and thousands of homes destroyed. Allegations of ethnic cleansing and even genocide have been made by some Muslim countries.
Since clashes started in June, Suu Kyi has been criticized by those who say the opposition leader has been slow to defend the Rohingyas, a group the UN has labeled among the most persecuted minorities in the world.
Following her stay in the capital, Suu Kyi is scheduled to visit Myanmar communities in San Francisco and New York, a city where she lived during the late 1960s when she worked at the United Nations and spent time with Asiaâ€™s first UN secretary general, U Thant.
President continues major reshuffle
Rakhines burn Rohingya homes: villagers