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
UN report admits a "grave failure" to help Sri Lankans
The repercussions from this damning report could be far reaching and long lasting for the UN.
- November 15, 2012
Publishing the damning internal report, which was leaked to the BBC, Mr Ban said lessons had to be learnt.
A senior panel will advise him on how to prevent the system breakdowns that led to "grave failure" in Sri Lanka.
The government and Tamil rebels are accused of war crimes in the conflict, which ended in May 2009.
The 26-year war left at least 100,000 people dead. There are still no confirmed figures for tens of thousands of civilian deaths in the last months of battle.
An earlier UN investigation said it was possible up to 40,000 people had been killed in the final five months alone. Other estimates say the number of deaths could be even higher.
The government's own estimate of deaths in the final few months is 9,000.
The internal review concluded that various UN agencies, including the Security Council and Human Rights Council, had failed at every level to meet their responsibilities in the last months of the civil war in Sri Lanka.
In particular it highlighted the organisation's reluctance to publish casualty figures and its decision to withdraw staff from the war zone, as well as its failure to report evidence of widespread government shelling.
As a result, the report recommends a comprehensive review of the UN's implementation of humanitarian and protection mandates.
"I am determined that the United Nations draws the appropriate lessons and does its utmost to earn the confidence of the world's people, especially those caught in conflict who look to the organisation for help," Mr Ban said in a statement.
He added that events in Syria were the latest reminder that the UN's core mission to protect civilians was crucial.
The report had been made public, Mr Ban said, as "transparency and accountability are critical to the legitimacy and credibility of the United Nations".
The UN's former humanitarian chief, John Holmes, has criticised the report.
Mr Holmes said the UN faced "some very difficult dilemmas" at the time and could be criticised for the decisions it had taken.
"But the idea that if we behaved differently, the Sri Lankan government would have behaved differently I think is not one that is easy to reconcile with the reality at the time," he told the BBC's Newshour programme earlier this week.
Full Story:Â Sri Lanka: UN admits it failed to protect civilians
Source: BBC News