SLN bars pilgrims from attending Kachchathivu festival

[TamilNet, Saturday, 03 March 2007, 04:14 GMT]
Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) denied permisssion to Tamil Catholic pilgrims to participate in the annual festival of the St. Antony’s church in Kachchathivu, an isle situated in the Palk Straits between Sri Lanka and India about 15km southwest of Delft (Nedunthivu) islet, scheduled for this weekend, sources in Jaffna said. Pilgrims from India and Sri Lanka in thousands visit this isle every year, meet their kith and kin and barter goods from both countries.

The annual festival celebrations which used to last one week was cut shortened to two days in the recent past. Pilgrims who attend the festival in Kachchaithivu stay thre for two days, Saturday and Sunday, and depart on Monday morning.

More than 2,000 pilgrims attended the celebrations last year.

The annual festival falls on this weekend and the Navy had so far given permission to only 50 people including the priests and officials of the Delft (Nedunthivu) Divisional Secretariat in the islets of Jaffna district who coordinate the festival.

SLN denied permission to other pilgrims.

St. Antony’s church in Kachchaitivu has rich cultural history.

The Agreement between India and Sri Lanka on the Boundary in Historic Waters between the two Countries and related Matters was signed in June 1974. The Agreement states that Indian fishermen and pilgrims will enjoy access to visit Kachchativu as hitherto, and will not be required by Sri Lanka to obtain travel documents or visas for these purposes.

However, fulfillment of these traditional rights has been in abeyance since 1983 due to the security situation in the Palk Straits. The matter remains under discussion between the two Governments.


External Links:
India: Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement on Kachchativu Island

 

Latest 15 Reports
19.04.18 21:15   Photo
JUSU urges Tamils to mark Mu'l'livaaykkaal Remembrance in its true spirit of uprising
18.04.18 23:03  
Cooray emerges as broker of civil contracts to occupying Sinhala military in North
17.04.18 23:31  
SL Resettlement Ministry twists figures on lands seized by Sinhala military in North
16.04.18 20:02  
Mano Ganesan challenged in Jaffna, politician complains of threat
15.04.18 10:13  
7 DS officials under pressure to collaborate with Sinhala colonisation schemes in Batticaloa
14.04.18 23:19  
Colombo schemes new type of subservient CSD colonies in Jaffna diverting foreign aid
13.04.18 23:18   Photo
SL military brings back paramilitary violence to control peaceful protests as NGO tricks fail
12.04.18 19:03  
SL Forest department blocks access to 300 acres of agricultural lands in Ampaa'rai
11.04.18 23:20  
Tamil political prisoner launches hunger-strike at Anuradhapura prison
10.04.18 18:19  
Genocidal Sri Lanka imposes forcible military training for CSD pre-school teachers
09.04.18 11:40   Photo
Fisheries society cautiously welcomes Court decision on fishing access to Naayaa'ru Tamils
08.04.18 23:28  
Militarisation of pre-schools akin to child soldiering: NPC Education Minister
07.04.18 21:34  
Muslim politicians block relocation of SL military base in Batticaloa
06.04.18 06:35   Photo
NPC finally awakens against SL Mahaweli Authority obstructing territorial integrity of Tamil homeland
05.04.18 16:46  
Vavuniyaa Judge warns SL Attorney General against delaying tactics on TPP cases
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=21434