Kachchatheevu Feast Concludes Strengthening Indo-Lanka Brotherhood

Under the direction of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development and the supervision of Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage, Sri Lanka Navy facilitated the conduct of the annual feast of the St. Anthony’s Church in Kachchatheevu on a grand scale. The Way of the Cross and Holy Mass was held on 15th March 2014 and the feastive mass was held on 16th. Over 5,200 devotees including clergy from Sri Lanka and India attended the feast strengthening the Indo-Lanka brotherhood.

Under the instructions of Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Sarath Dissanayake, the Navy provided all infrastructure facilities, including installation of sanitary and drinking water facilities in the Kachchatheevu Island located in Sri Lanka’s northern waters. Temporary jetties were made ready for people to secure their boats conveniently. Special SLN life saving and medical teams were deployed to ensure the safety of the devotees attending the annual festival. Sea transportation was provided to VIPs from Kankasanthurai to Kachchatheevu. The Navy also supplied meals to the devotees as a gesture of goodwill.

The Mass was conducted by the Vicar General of Bishop’s House of Jaffna, assisted by the Parish Priest of Delft and Kachchatheevu. Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Daya Rathnayake, President of the Navy Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs. Srima Colombage, Director General of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard, Rear Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratna, Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Sarath Dissanayake and Jaffna Security Forces Commander, Major General Udaya Perera were also present on the occasion.

The Navy Commander thanked the Archbishop of Colombo and the Bishop of Jaffna for the guidance and the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka for the assistance extended to make the unique event a great success. He expressed his sincere thanks to the priests from India and Sri Lanka for their appreciation of the SLN's efforts to create a bridge of brotherhood and cooperation across the Palk Strait between the two neighbouring countries. With the dawn of peace, the opportunity has been created for the people of the two friendly countries to meet one another and renew the bonds of friendship.