March 2016

Open letter revolts against Xi’s leadership
(Saturday, 2 April 2016 )

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): To date, 20 people have been arrested for playing some part in the posting of an open letter addressed to the president of China, Xi Jinping, on the website of Wujie News on March 4, a publication that normally sings the same tune as the party leadership.

Although the letter only had a short life in the sun, it was signed by a group calling itself loyal members of the Communist Party of China...

Worldwide election forum in Hong Kong
(Saturday, 2 April 2016 )

HONG KONG (SE): Overseas Filipinos and their families from 14 countries took part in a worldwide consultation in Hong Kong on the upcoming presidential election on March 13.

The day featured a forum with Makabayan senatorial candidate, Neri Colmenares, and nominees from the Migrante Partylist.

The event opened with a Mass celebrated by Father Franco Mella. Then Colmenares, together...

Scuffle with Rainbow Action at parish meeting
(Saturday, 2 April 2016 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): A lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group disrupted a discussion afternoon on the anti-sexual orientation discrimination law at the parish church in North Point on March 13, asking the diocese for a formal discussion and dialogue with them.

The parish had organised an afternoon discussion on the Sex Orientation Discrimination Ordinance.

In January the...

Washing the feet of the outcast
(Saturday, 2 April 2016 )

ROME (AsiaNews): Pope Francis stressed that the Christian community does not exist simply for its own benefit when he celebrated the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on the evening of Holy Thursday, March 24, at the CARA Welcome and Hospitality Centre outside Rome that provides temporary lodging and services to some 900 asylum seekers.

Through his gesture of service he showed that the Christian community exists to be of...

Obama meets cardinal in Havana
(Saturday, 2 April 2016 )

HAVANA (SE): The president of the United States of America (US), Barack Obama, met with Jaime Lucas Cardinal Ortega y Alamino in Havana, during his three-day visit to Cuba on March 20.

The meeting took place at the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception in the nation’s capital city on the first day of the US president’s visit.

In August last year,...

People come first
(Saturday, 2 April 2016 )

The tiny conclave of Puerto Rico is facing a tough dilemma, as creditors from the United States of America (US) threaten lawsuits if it defaults on its debts.

Puerto Rico has been facing a tight financial squeeze, which has seen a big increase in unemployment and consequent poverty among its poorer classes.

However, its government finds...

Good Friday came to Brussels early
(Saturday, 2 April 2016 )

BRUSSELS (SE): Good Friday came early to the Belgium capital of Brussels when two bombs exploded at Zaventem Airport around 8.00am and another at Maelbeek Metro Station around 9.00am on Tuesday of Holy Week, March 22.

“Good Friday has come three days early with these totally absurd actions,” Bishop Jean Kockerols, from Mechelen-Brussels, said on a Belgium bishops’ website broadcast.

Second child is still penalised
(Saturday, 2 April 2016 )

HONG KONG (SE): The nuanced numerical adjustment that the government of the People’s Republic of China made to the One Child Policy on January 1 this year, transforming it into a Two Child Policy, has not eased the burden carried by second children born prior to that date.

Observers have pointed out that rather than representing a policy change to the Family Planning Law, the numerical readjustment is just that, as...

Slain suspect not priest’s kidnapper
(Saturday, 2 April 2016 )

MANILA (SE): Waning Abdulsalam, suspected to have been the leader of a group that has kidnapped foreigners for ransom, was killed by a joint police and military operation when he resisted arrest in Zamboanga Sibugay on March 13.

He was also suspected of being a member of the Abu Sayyaf and the leader of the group that kidnapped Columban Father Mick Sinnott from his home in Pagadian in 2009 (Sunday Examiner, 8...

Religious honoured for defence of nature
(Saturday, 2 April 2016 )

MANILA (SE): A priest from Manila and an Augustinian brother were both honoured for their dedication to the protection of the environment and the interests of indigenous people at separate functions in The Philippines during March.

Father Edwin Gariguez received an honorary doctorate in humanities from Ateneo de Cagayan do Oro University on March 17 for his long battle against nickel mining in Mindoro.