After 25 years as displaced people, several Tamil Catholic families were able to return to Iranaitheevu Island, northern Sri Lanka. Due to the war, they left the island in 1992. The Tamil families were able to set foot again on the island, but they still have to wait for an authorisation to regain possession of the land they once owned. Before their arrival, the refugees celebrated the Mass in Mulankaveli’s Holy Rosary Church.

As reported by, After the service, they walked for a kilometre and a half to the lagoon, chanting slogans in Tamil: “Give us back our lands. Do not tell us to go away. What is ours is ours.”

The former residents reached the island on about forty boats provided by the fishermen. In the church they prayed for a long time to the Virgin Mary, weeping and thanking her for her intercession.