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'Ensure participation of TN fishermen in Lankan church fete', Stalin urges Centre
The Tamil fishermen and pilgrims have spiritual and emotional attachment with St Antony’s Church, Katchatheevu and have been participating in this traditional event for several decades now.
Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday requested the Centre to urge Sri Lanka to allow Tamil Nadu fishermen to take part in the Katchatheevu St Anthony's church annual festival in keeping with the tradition.
The festival of St Antony at St Antony’s church in Katchatheevu is celebrated every year during February-March and the Tamil Nadu government has been facilitating the safe journey of fishermen devotees who wish to participate in the fete, Stalin said in a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. ''It has come to my notice that fishermen devotees of Tamil Nadu are not allowed to participate in the annual festival this year, citing various reasons by the Sri Lankan authorities.''
The Tamil fishermen and pilgrims have spiritual and emotional attachment with St Antony’s Church, Katchatheevu and have been participating in this traditional event for several decades now. The news of denial by Sri Lankan authorities has caused deep disappointment among the fishermen community in the state.
''In view of the above, I request you to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to enable the participation of Tamil Nadu fishermen in the annual festival of St Anthony's Church as has been the tradition every year. I am sure that your efforts will ensure in preserving good relations between the people of both countries.'' DMK's Lok Sabha floor leader T R Baalu handed over the Chief Minister's letter to Jaishankar in Delhi, an official release here said.