Over 7000 attend Kachchatheevu feast

By Wasantha Liyanage reporting from Kachchatheevu

Over seven thousand devotees attended the annual feast of the St Anthony’s Church in Kachchatheevu Island held on Saturday and yesterday.

This year’s feast had been organized by the Sri Lanka Navy. Over 150 crafts had arrived from South India fully loaded with devotees, including 150 Catholic priests.

Traditional Industries Minister Douglas Devananda said that some Tamil Nadu based politicians made baseless statements over the Kachchatheevu Island. Most of those statements they made were without the cognizance of the Central Government of India and were aimed at nothing but cheap popularity.

The Minister asked to comment on recent media reports of some South Indian politicians demanding to hoist the Indian national flag on the island, said there was such an attempt but thanks to the joint security arrangements put in place by Indian and Sri Lankan navies did not allow for any untoward incidents.

"I believe that the Indian government has no intention of taking over the Kachchatheevu Island from Sri Lanka jeopardizing bilateral relations. It was accepted as Sri Lanka territory as a gesture of goodwill," the minister said.

Also commenting on the issues of Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters, the minister said that it had become a serious problem for the local fishermen and the issue should be sorted out immediately by the two governments.

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