Tamil Nadu

The Tuticorin-Sri Lanka link

A view of Our Lady of Snows Basilica in Tuticorin. Photo : N.Rajesh

A view of Our Lady of Snows Basilica in Tuticorin. Photo : N.Rajesh  


Tracing the history of maritime trade with Sri Lanka through traditional mode of shipment by vessels from Tuticorin, S. Lasington Fernando, secretary, Coastal Mechanised Sail Vessel Owners Association, said maritime relations between people of these countries were still evolving.

It was through the dry fish trade in Sri Lanka by merchants of coastal hamlets in Tuticorin, relations were established between the people of both sides centuries ago. Besides, merchants had been long-time settlers in the island nation. With the festival season of Our Lady of Snows Basilica in Tuticorin, about to commence, Christian pilgrims from Sri Lanka were expected to arrive here to join the celebration of reunion, Mr. Fernando told The Hinduhere on Monday. The 11-day annual festival would begin with a flag hoisting on July 26. During this occasion, wedding proposals, involving Sri Lankan nationals, would take place here, he said. “Yet there is a striking similarity between localities of the St. Anthony’s Shrine at Kochchikade in Colombo and the street houses close to Our Lady of Snows Basilica in Tuticorin. The activities and social mores of the two communities are similar in these two locales,” he said.

In those days, Sri Lankans came here under the visa-on-arrival rule, now they had to apply for short-term visas at the Indian Embassy in Colombo, said S.M. Chandrakumar Paldona, a resident of Manal Street.

Bonaventure Roche, a resident of Beach Road and grandson of J.M.B. Roche Victoria, the first elected chairman of the Tuticorin Municipality in 1886, said that since Tuticorin was situated near the Colombo port many merchants from Tuticorin established departmental and provision stores in Colombo. Besides, companies and tea estates founded by the British in Sri Lanka created jobs and many from the coastal hamlets of Manapad, Veerapandianpattinam and Alandhalai benefitted from them, Mr. Roche recalled.

Related Topics Tamil Nadu
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 22, 2018 4:30:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/the-tuticorinsri-lanka-link/article6236885.ece

Next Story