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
Thai police fire tear gas at protesters
Demonstrators vow to disrupt run-up to February election
Protesters clash with police at a Bangkok stadium where political parties were due to register as candidates (picture: AFP/Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)
- AFP, Bangkok
- December 26, 2013
Thai security forces fired tear gas Thursday at anti-government protesters who stormed a stadium in the capital to try to prevent political parties registering for upcoming elections.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has faced weeks of mass street rallies seeking to curb her family's political dominance and install an unelected "people's council" to oversee electoral reforms.
The protests have left five people dead and more than 200 wounded in street violence, although tensions had abated since several days of clashes between police and demonstrators in early December.
Yingluck has called a snap election for February 2 to try to ease tensions, but the main opposition Democrat Party -- which has not won an elected majority in about two decades -- has vowed to boycott the vote.
The latest confrontation came as representatives of about 30 political parties gathered inside a Bangkok stadium for a draw for the numbers to be used on the ballot sheets.
The demonstrators have vowed to keep up their campaign to disrupt the polls, with protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban threatening to "shut down the country" to prevent people voting.
Thailand has seen several bouts of political turmoil since Yingluck's older brother Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted as premier in a military coup in 2006.
The political conflict broadly pits a Bangkok-based middle class and royalist elite, backed by the military, against rural and working-class voters loyal to Thaksin, who lives in self-exile. AFP