“The Sri Lanka Navy has rendered a laudable service to strengthen mutual ties with India, with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Army, Police and other institutions responsible for district administration services in Jaffna,” he added.
The Navy Commander was addressing the media at the annual feast of St. Anthony’s Church in Kachchathivu Islands yesterday.
“The annual feast of St. Anthony’s Church is a bridge which links Sri Lankans and Indians together.
This is one of the most important events held with the end of terrorism. We celebrated this event in 1985 before the war escalated. With the end of the humanitarian operation, the event is celebrated since 2010. This is the fourth annual feast organised by the Sri Lanka Navy, which attracts Sri Lankan and Indian devotees,” Vice Admiral Colombage said.
The annual feast of St. Anthony’s Church in Kachchathivu was held on a grand scale during the weekend. The main mass was held under the patronage of Jaffna Archbishop Justin Gnanapragasam. Nearly 6,000 devotees including clergy from Sri Lanka and India attended the event.
Four hundred Navy personnel were deployed with a special SLN life saving and medical team to ensure the safety of the devotees. Jetties were made available for people to secure their boats conveniently.
The Northern Naval Command upgraded infrastructure facilities including the development of all by roads and the installation of sanitary and drinking water facilities in Kachchathivu islands under the direction of Northern Naval Area Commander Rear Admiral B.M.A.S. Dissaanayake.
Police also established several police posts to assist devotees. Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Rathnayaka, Major General Udaya Perera of the Jaffna Security Forces Headquarters, Sri Lanka Coast Guard Director Rear Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, representatives from the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka, District Secretary, Jaffna and Kayts District Judges were also present.