Written by Staff Writer
12 Mar, 2017 | 7:42 am
The annual feast of St. Anthony’s Church in Katchatheevu commenced on a grand scale on Saturday, March 11, for the seventh year. Incidentally, this is the first time that the feast is held since the church was renovated by the Sri Lanka Navy.
Many devotees from across the country were seen participating in the event. However, Indian devotees did not take part in this year’s festival.
Consulate general of India to Jaffna A. Natarajan has said “…As the Indo-Sri Lankan fishermen issue is yet to be resolved, the Tamil Nadu Fishermen have noted that they will not participate in the feast”.
However, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mahishini Colonne said the Sri Lankan government has made all arrangements to provide necessary facilities to Indian devotees arriving for the festival.
A protest took place in Thangachchimadam on Saturday, against the alleged shooting of an Indian Fishermen on the 6th. Demonstrating were fishermen from six districts in Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu opposition leader M. K. Starlin had held discussions with the protesters and had paid respects to remains of the deceased fisherman kept at the Rameshawaran government hospital.
“… The Central Government has not looked in to this issue. We need to reclaim the Katchatheevu island …” – said M.K.Starlin
Permission has been granted to release the 85 detained India fishermen and after the completion of the local processes they will be set free within three days, the Department of Fisheries said.
They added that the 16 Sri Lankan fishermen detained in India will also be brought back to the country.
However, the Department of Fisheries notes that it will not release the 136 Indian fishing vessels in their custody.
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