Fishermen and devotees return from the Katchatheevu festival
Expressing their satisfaction with the arrangements made for the annual two-day festival at St Antony’s Church in Katchatheevu, fishermen and worshipers in the coastal district of Ramanathapuram said on Saturday they were pleasantly surprised to meet the fishermen of Sri Lanka and also described the interaction with Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda as “fruitful”.
After the outbreak of the pandemic, the pilgrimage has been banned for the past two years. With the situation becoming normal, the governments of India and Sri Lanka have agreed to allow pilgrims, but with restrictions.
Initially, only 50 pilgrims were allowed to attend the festival which was held on March 11-12. However, at the eleventh hour, permission was granted to another 50 pilgrims.
A total of 76 people from Rameswaram traveled to Katchatheevu in three mechanized boats and one field boat.
According to Jesu Raja, a fisherman leader, they had an interaction with their Sri Lankan counterparts. “We had the opportunity to share our grievances directly in the presence of the Minister. The plights of the fishermen at the hands of the Sri Lankan Navy and how they were imprisoned and the boats auctioned figured in the talks,” he said. The Hindu.
Upon arrival at the Rameswaram fishing jetty, the fishermen hoped to begin a new beginning with peace and security for them as they ventured into Palk Bay.