The St. Anthony's sacred Church on Kachchativu Island has long been a pinnacle of respect of both Indian and Sri Lankan Catholic devotees. The Kachchathivu islet is located close to the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and its church mass, organized by the District Secretary of Jaffna, is scheduled to be held on 16th March 2019. Sri Lanka Navy is also working in full swing to facilitate the event’s proceedings on the notion of the Jaffna Bishop and District Secretary.
Accordingly, naval personnel attached to the Northern Naval Command are currently engaged in providing infrastructure facilities, including installation of sanitary and drinking water facilities as well as mobile generators. Apart from that, temporary jetties being constructed for people to secure their boats conveniently and special SLN lifesaving including medical teams are expected to be deployed to ensure the safety of the devotees attending the annual festival. Further, the Navy is assisting the Divisional Secretariat (Delft) for the cleaning of the shrine built by the Sri Lanka Navy, surrounding area and roads leading to the premises.
The Kachchativu feast has been an important annual event for both Indian and Sri Lankan Catholic devotees. It was attended by approximately 10,000 devotees last year and same number of devotees is expected this year as well. As such, the Navy has made all arrangements in place to ferry priests, government officials, dignitaries, devotees, local and foreign journalists as well as equipment needed for the church mass, from Kurikattuwan Jetty to the Kachchathivu islet.