March 2016

A call for non-violent resistance
(Saturday, 26 March 2016 )

HONG KONG (SE): The Church must display non-violent resistance towards the unjust policies of the government of Hong Kong as a witness to the power public opinion can have in society, as it can serve as a wakeup call to the sleeping consciences of those who normally sit on the sidelines of social issues.

A forum sponsored by the Justice and Peace Commission, the Commission for Labour Affairs and Christians for Hong Kong...

A time to welcome
(Saturday, 26 March 2016 )

As in past years at the Easter Vigil celebration, some thousands of adults are set to receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist.

Their official welcome from the diocese begins during Lent as they join their godparents and catechists in a final preparation programme and are welcomed during Sunday Masses.

As a Church community this is something to give thanks for and...

Who was pope addressing in New Year message?
(Saturday, 26 March 2016 )

Pope Francis’ recent interview, published on the online news site Asia Times, on February 2, was more than just a mere Lunar New Year greeting to the Chinese people.

Speaking to Italian journalist and senior researcher at the Renmin University in China, Francesco Sisci, it was the first occasion on which the pope had specifically said anything about China.


Help demanded for stranded workers in Saudi Arabia
(Saturday, 26 March 2016 )

HONG KONG (SE): The Migrante Partylist is calling for better protection for overseas Filipino workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as their job security is currently in doubt due to the current economic crisis caused by falling oil prices.

Its international coordinator, Garry Martinez, said at a press conference held in Manila on March 11, during which workers spoke via Skype from Saudi, that immediate assistance for...

The Unsung Heroes become sung well heroes
(Saturday, 26 March 2016 )

HONG KONG (SE): The Unsung Heroes, a choir made up of over 50 Filipino migrant domestic workers, became the sung well heroes at a day to promote understanding among different peoples in Hong Kong, when they drew a few tears from misty eyes with their song, I wish I could kiss you good night.

Appearing at the Amphitheatre next to the Central Government Offices in Admiralty at a function organised by the non-...

Will May 9 vote get off the ground?
(Saturday, 26 March 2016 )

MANILA (SE): The Supreme Court of The Philippines ruled on March 10 that voters at the May 9 presidential election must be issued with a computer generated receipt upon casting their ballot.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has flaunted this requirement of law in the previous two elections, even claiming that the issuing of a receipt could contribute to the age-old Philippine practice of vote buying and selling....

Land grab scourge in Sri Lanka
(Saturday, 26 March 2016 )

COLOMBO (UCAN): Punchirala Somasiri was a successful farmer in Sri Lanka until a group of men forced him and his family off their land in the Ampara district in the country’s southeast in 2010.

“The men wore masks and they set fire to our houses and the paddy field,” Somasiri, who is now the secretary of Panam Paththuwa Protecting Organisation, a local land advocacy group, said. He believes the men were...

Divergent views on the K-12 system
(Saturday, 26 March 2016 )

MANILA (SE): Bishop Broderick Pabillo lost out in his call for the newly implemented Kindergarten to Year 12 (K-12) educational system, adopted in The Philippines around two years ago, to be stopped for the time being while the Catholic Educators Association rejoiced, insisting that the programme must go ahead.

CBCP News reported that on March 9, Bishop Pabillo had written a letter to the chief justice, Maria Sereno...

Call to end an Australian rip off
(Saturday, 26 March 2016 )

DILI (UCAN): About 3,000 people marched from the Australian-owned Tiger refuelling station to the Australian embassy in the Timor-Leste capital of Dili on February 23, demanding that the Australian government stop exploiting oil and gas reserves in the Timor Gap—the maritime boundary separating the two countries—and using a treaty it signed with Indonesia in 1972 to justify it.

The treaty was signed as an...

Saudi executes 70th person this year
(Saturday, 26 March 2016 )

RIYADH (AsiaNews): The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has carried out its 70th execution for this year. The Saudi Ministry of the Interior announced on March 7 that Alaa al-Zahrani was stoned to death after being convicted in Jeddah.

Last year, 153 death sentences were carried out, most of them for drug trafficking and murder. This was the highest number in 20 years.

At the beginning of...