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 strikes country from 'list of shame'
Report says welfare programs prompted removal from child conflict blacklist
- ucanews.com,reporter, Colombo
- Sri Lanka
- June 13, 2012
The annual UN report on Children and Armed Conflict said all parties to previous conflicts in Sri Lanka were taken off the "list of shame" after successfully completing Security Council-mandated programs to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
"Progress is continuous but the list of parties to conflict who harm girls and boys will always be too long,â€ť said Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN secretary-generalâ€™s special representative for children and armed conflict after the report was published on Monday.
The world body had put Sri Lanka on the list because of the recruitment of child soldiers by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the countryâ€™s civil war.
The LTTE had been accused of knowingly recruiting and using child soldiers as front-line troops.
The UN report also praised efforts being made in health and education programs for minors and in trying to trace almost 1,400 missing children who were recruited to fight in the war.
â€śNo new cases of recruitment of children by armed groups have been reported since October 2009. However, the whereabouts of 1,373 children from a total of 6,905 who were recruited by the LTTE remains unknown,â€ť the UN report said.
â€śSri Lanka had made serious efforts to trace those children and that is the reason the country had been removed from the UNâ€™s list,â€ť it said.
Fifty-two countries are named on the blacklist, with Syria, Yemen and Sudan among the more recent additions.
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