an uninhabited sandy isle located many kilometers away from Sri
Lankan mainland in the Indian Ocean was congested with catholic
devotees on Sunday (04) when St. Anthony’s Church there held the
Approximately six thousand South Indian Catholics including over
100 clergies and nearly 4000 local Catholics and about 50 priests
from different parts of Sri Lanka attended the morning prayers conducted
by Vicar General Jaffna Rev. Fr. Justin Gnanapragasm, Rev. Fr. Michel
Raj of Sagayamada Church in Sivasangai, Diocese from the South India.
Majority had arrived the previous day and spent the night in Kachchathivu
to attend the morning mass to get blessing of St. Anthony, to whom
the church is dedicated. With the direction of Ministry of Defence,
the Sri Lanka Navy had made all necessary arrangements assisted
by Government Agent Jaffna to cater to basic needs of local and
Indian devotees arriving in the isle to attend the mass which symbolizes
the long-lasting comradeship between local and Indian fishing communities.
Sri Lanka Navy and Police provided security to people throughout
during their stay in the island. In addition, medical centres and
drinking water tanks had been installed by the Sri Lanka Navy. Meals,
shelter and sanitary conveniences are among the facilities organized
by the Sri Lanka Navy.
Administration power of Kachchathivu island which lies over about
1.5 square kilometers at a distance of 45 nautical miles away from
Kankesanthurai was vested in the Sri Lankan government in 1974 by
the Indian government under provisions of Sirima-Shasthri pact.
Since then this beautiful sandy island covered with tropical shrubs
has been serving as a resting and meeting place for both local and
The Parish Priest of Delft island took initiative in coordinating
all arrangement with relevant agencies.
Chief Incumbent of Nagadeepa Buddhist temple Ven. Navadagala Padumakitti
Tissa Thero, Commander Security Forces - Jaffna Major General Mahinda
Hathurusinghe, Commander Northern Naval Area Rear Admiral Ravi Wijegunarathne,
Government Agent Jaffna Mrs. Emelda Sukumar and Mayoress Jaffna
Mrs. Yogeswari Pathgunarasa were among the distinguished guests
who attended the annual Mass.