Chief minister O Panneerselvam on Wednesday said the Centre has granted permission to 100 fishermen from the state to attend the consecration ceremony of St Antony’s Church in Katchatheevu island on December 23.
“Following the sanction, TN government will make adequate arrangements for the pilgrims,” the CM said in a statement. The consecration ceremony was scheduled to take place on December 7, but the Sri Lankan government put off the event due to the demise of former CM J Jayalalithaa. TN chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao shot off a letter to foreign secretary S Jaishankar indicating the interest of Rameswaram fishermen that 100 pilgrims desired to attend.However, external affairs ministry gave `no objection’ for the visit of only 20 persons from Tamil Nadu.
Subsequently , Panneerselvam urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to facilitate the participation of all fishermen who wish to participate in the event, as the Church holds “considerable cultural and religious significance to lakhs of fishermen from Tamil Nadu.” (Times of India)