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Petition to investigate Mong Kok rumble

HONG KONG (SE): A online signature petition was launched by the Justice and Peace Commission on March 17 calling on the Hong Kong government to set up an independent investigation committee to look into the rumble that took place between police and a violent mob in Mong Kok on February 8.

The petition statement was posted in various parishes starting from April 3 inviting parishioners to sign it.

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Why do the police kill the poor but spare the rich?

QUEZON CITY (SE): “It is very troubling that the police and the military are always being sent to harass, wound and kill the poor—whether they be farmers, lumads, urban poor or workers who protest and rally because they suffer and their rights are not being addressed,” Bishop Broderick Pabillo said in a formal condemnation of the violent dispersal of farmers who had rallied on a main road in Kidapawan City on April 1 to call attention to their plight in the drought affected region.

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When they asked for food they got bullets

MANILA (SE): Jesus may have found it hard to believe that a father would give his son a scorpion when he asked for bread, but when a massed rally of around 6,000 farmers from a declared drought disaster zone blocked the 220 kilometre highway link between the provinces of Davao and Cotabato at Kidapawan City on March 30, to asked the government for food, it gave them bullets.

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Indonesia accused of slow genocide in Papua

BRISBANE (SE): A report from a fact-finding commission of the Justice and Peace Commission from Brisbane, Australia, has concluded that there is a slow motion genocide occurring in the Indonesian province of Papua.

It accuses Indonesia of wanting to replace the Christian religion of the indigenous Papuan population with Islam.

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Disgraced legal hero released

HONG KONG (UCAN): A Christian lawyer, Zhang Kai, who used the legal system to resist the ongoing campaign to remove crosses from public sight in Zhejiang, China, was released, just one month after he appeared on television to apologise for endangering state security, disturbing social order and receiving funding from foreign organisations.

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A call for non-violent resistance

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.

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Land grab scourge in Sri Lanka

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 working for corrupt officials.

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Mourning an indigenous leader

NEW YORK (SE): The worldwide Church has been asked to pray for the martyrs for the environment and on March 3, Berta Cáceres, from Honduras, was added to the ever-growing list of those who have lost their lives for their work in the defence of nature and the life-giving energy of God’s creation.

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A tear in Sri Lanka’s impunity curtain

KANDY (SE): A ceremony of felicitation was held in the northern city of Kandy in Sri Lanka on February 20 to mark what the director of the Human Rights Office Kandy, Father Nandana Manatunga, called a landmark decision by the Nuwara-Eliya High Court in returning a guilty verdict against the perpetrators of one case of rape and one of torture dating back to 2001 and 1995.

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Women are being murdered for their land

MANILA (UCAN): A growing number of Filipino women, especially in rural areas, have been abused and even killed for the crime of defending their land against powerful interests that seek to steal it.

The human rights group, Karapatan, says that at least 153 women have been assassinated for defending their land since 2001.

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