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Looking for Sri Lanka’s missing droves

COLOMBO (UCAN): The resistance of the government of Sri Lanka to investigate war crimes committed during the 1983 to 2009 conflict between the army and the Tigers of Tamil Eelam has sown doubt and cynicism about a new office set up to investigate the fate of missing persons.

Father P. Jebaratnam, from Jaffna, which was heavily affected during the civil war, said that the office is necessary, but questioned its genuineness, based on past experiences.

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Duterte declares open season on journalists

MANILA (UCAN): “You are not exempted from assassination if you are a son of a bitch,” president-elect, Roderigo Duterte, said on May 31 in response to a question from the media about a confrère murdered in Manila a few days previously.

The Philippines is already listed as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, as the numbers killed over past years keeps it in the top 20 of the deadliest countries for those who pen the news.

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A call for unity on the Tiananmen anniversary

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): In response to a decision taken by the Hong Kong Federation of Students not to take part in the annual memorial candlelight vigil for those who died at Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989, the former bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, said that unity and cooperation must be cherished in order to achieve anything realistic.

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Thousands protest against new coal-fired power plant

MANILA (Agencies): Around 10,000 people from various Church groups, concerned citizens, and civil society organisations marched in Batangas City, The Philippines, on May 4 to call for a moratorium on new coal plants in the country.

Led by Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, from Lipa, the demonstrators demanded that the next administration cancel all proposed coal-fired projects and shift to renewable energy, according to a report of CBCP News.

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Calls for independent inquiry into murder of environmental advocate

SANTO DOMINGO (CNS): Authorities arrested four men implicated in the murder of Honduran environmental advocate, Berta Cáceres Flores (Sunday Examiner, March 27) on May 2. However, family members and Catholic organisations continue to call the international community to carry out its own investigation in one of the world’s most murderous countries.

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Long working hours taking a terrible toll commission survey finds

HONG KONG (SE): The Catholic Commission for Labour Affairs released the findings of its survey on the impact of long working hours during a press conference on April 23, one week before Labour Day on May 1. Most respondents said they worked long hours, which impacted their family, health and faith life.

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Farmers demand aid on Earth Day

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine environmental advocates and farmers marked Earth Day, April 22, with rallies in various cities around the country to demand government action in drought-stricken areas.

“The drought has worsened the poverty and hunger of farmers,” said Pedro Arnardo, a peasant leader from the southern region of Mindanao.

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Call to increase wages

Dili (UCAN): Father Adrian Ola Duli, director of Caritas Dili, said Timor-Leste’s current wage of about US$3.75 (29) was not enough for a worker to afford three meals a day, let alone provide for his family, adding that the monthly wage of US$115 (892) needs to be raised to more than US$200 ($1,550).

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Standard working hours

According to UBS’s Prices and Earnings Study Report, Hong Kong has the longest working hours out of 71 cities worldwide, with the average employee working up to 2,606 hours per year. 








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Abusive employer convicted but workers’ lot still not a happy one

HONG KONG (SE): At the launch of Erwiana: Justice for All, a documentary on the traumatic experience of abused domestic worker, Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, community leaders were critical of the government attitude towards migrant workers in Hong Kong, saying that one year on from the conviction of her abusive employer nothing has changed.

The documentary was launched on March 27 at the City University of Hong Kong in Kowloon Tong.

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