Covid 19 new variant is reliving one of the worst experiences migrant workers in India had in decades. As the cases increase they have started a mass exodus from cities to rural homes in what they assume to be another nationwide lockdown in the horizon.
Migrants have been lining up in bus terminals and railway stations across the country as India grapples to contain the Omicron variant. In federal capital New Delhi, the daily Covid tally has passed 20,000 cases, triggering the very fear of yet another lockdown. Already Delhi authorities have imposed night and weekend curfews to contain the virus.
Migrant workers in Delhi head towards railway stations to return to their home villages during the annual Chhat Puja festival in November 2019. (Photo: Bijay Kumar Minj/UCA News)
Church officials say workers are desperate to avoid the same fate as two years ago when they faced hunger and disease in their struggle to go home. The exodus of migrants became a humanitarian crisis in 2020 when thousands walked on roads and railway tracks amid a transport ban.
At least 16 were killed by a goods train in Maharashtra state and at least 100 died in road accidents across the country. According to the 2011 census, migrant workers make up 37 percent of India’s population.
Pakistan authorities have come under intense criticism after at least 23 people including 11 children died from asphyxiation in trapped vehicles following heavy snowfall in a popular hill resort.
Thousands of vehicles were stranded as tourists rushed to view the winter snowfall at Murree, a mountainous resort in the Galyat region of Punjab. The tragedy last weekend was blamed on the apathy of local people who exploited the tourist attraction to make money from their businesses and services at excessive prices.
Workers use heavy machinery to clear a road following a blizzard that trapped visitors in vehicles along the roads to the resort hill town of Murree, 70 kilometers northeast of Islamabad, on Jan. 9. (Photo: AFP)
Activists have also cited a serious lack of disaster risk management awareness and emergency response mechanisms among vital reasons behind the loss of lives.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan blamed the government for the tragedy for failing to ensure an early warning system, traffic regulation and effective rescue operation.
Catholics in Sri Lanka marked the 1,000th-day commemoration of the Easter Sunday bombings by demanding truth and justice for the victims. Hundreds of Catholics including priests, nuns and laypeople joined a national prayer and rally at the National Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka on Friday.
Nine suicide bombers affiliated to local Islamist extremist group National Thowheed Jamath targeted three churches and three luxury hotels on April 21, 2019. The attacks killed at least 279 people including 37 foreign nationals and injured at least 500.
Catholic priests protest outside the Criminal Investigation Department in Colombo demanding fair investigations into the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka on Nov. 22, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
Following a protracted government investigation, police have filed charges against 25 men accused of plotting the bombings, including conspiracy to murder. The court trial began last November.
The Sri Lankan Church led by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has rejected the inquiry report as it failed to reveal the “real culprits” behind the blasts and alleged attempts to cover up the crime.
A Catholic group advocating for peace in the Mindanao region of the Philippines has called for calm after a deadly bus bombing. A child was killed, and six others wounded on Tuesday when a bomb exploded on a public bus.
The region is a haven for various armed groups ranging from communist insurgents to Islamist militants. Police said an improvised explosive device was planted in the rear section of the bus. No one has claimed liability for the attack.
A Muslim imam prays at an empty mosque in Cotabato City in southern island of Mindanao on May 22, 2020, ahead of Eid-al-Fitr. (Photo: AFP)
However, the incident has led to anti-Muslim sentiment on social media. Mindanao for Peace Fellowship, which promotes peace and dialogue among Muslims and Christians, begged Catholics not to call Muslims “terrorists” and to refrain from describing the religion unfairly.
Mindanao, the second -largest island in the Philippines, has been plagued by a long-running insurgency. Thousands have been killed and millions displaced amid armed conflict between insurgents and government forces.
A Catholic group in Vietnam has been helping dozens of women to overcome their post-abortion trauma and grief. Father Dominic Truong Van Quy set up the Pro-Life Group in north-central Thua Thien Hue province in 1990.
Credit: Source link