St. Anthony’s feast held without Tamil Nadu fishermen

The annual St Anthony’s Church feast in Katchchativu was held today without the participation of Indian fishermen.

Some 5000 Tamil Nadu fishermen had been registered for the festival but they did not attend.

The Hindu newspaper had reported last week that the Verkodu Parish in Tamil Nadu, which organises the annual Indian pilgrimage to Katchchativu (also known as Katchatheevu) had decided to boycott the festival in protest against the gunning down of fisherman K. Britjo (21) last week.

Verkodu parish priest Rev. Fr. L. Sagayaraj, the chief coordinator of the festival, had announced that Indian pilgrims would boycott the festival to register their protest against the killing of the young fisherman.

This year, a record number of 4,991 pilgrims, including 3,610 men and 1,118 women had registered for the festival. The parish has also made ready a 35-foot high teak wood flag mast and four-foot tall statue of St. Antony to be installed at the newly built church in Katchatheevu.

The local fishermen had also collected funds and donated monstrances for worship and chalice for the holy mass.(Colombo Gazette)

Pictures by Ashanthi Warunasuriya in Katchatheevu

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