India has decided to allow Sri Lankans to travel to India by ferry to attend a major festival.
The Indian Foreign Ministry said that the Indian Government was approached on behalf of Lord Shiva devotees in northern Sri Lanka, who had expressed a desire to visit the Thillai Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram to participate in the “Maarkazhi Thiruvaathirai” (Aarudraa Dharshana Festival), which will be held next week (24 December 2017 – 3 January 2018).
This is a major festival at a particularly sacred temple for both Indians and Sri Lankans.
In response to the request, the Government of India has agreed to facilitate the travel of pilgrims through a ferry from Kankesanturai (near Jaffna) to Chennai.
“We expect this will permit a large number of Sri Lankan Tamil pilgrims to undertake this important and auspicious pilgrimage,” the Indian Foreign Ministry said.
Sri Lanka allows Indians to travel to Sri Lanka by boat to attend the Kachchativu festival every year. (Colombo Gazette)