Kayts (Tamil: ஊர்காவற்துறை Ūrkāvaṟtuṟai), is one of the important villages in Leiden Island which is a small island off the coast of the Jaffna Peninsula in northern Sri Lanka. There are number of other villages within the Leiden Islands such as Allaippiddi, Mankumpan, Velanai, Saravanai, Puliyankoodal, Suruvil, Naranthanai and Karampan.
Since 1983 Kayts Island has also been the scene of violence as part of the Sri Lankan Civil War, including the Allaipiddy massacre.
Kayts is a small island off the coast of Jaffna peninsula in the North of Sri Lanka. It is surrounded on one side by the sea and on the other by narrow strip of a channel. The mission of Kayts consisted of several islands close to each other, with the exception of Delft (Neduntivu), which was about 20 miles from the main church of this mission.
The mission of Kayts was situated in the Northern Province. The Northern Province, Eastern Province, North-western Province are the three, out of the six provinces into which the civil administration of then Ceylon was divided, formed together the Northern or Jaffna Vicariate. The Northern Province had the area of 5,427 square miles and the total population was 315,000 in 1861. Each province was divided into various missions.
According to the report on ‘The Various Missions of Ceylon’ sent on 12 February 1844 to propaganda Fide by the Vicar Apostolic of Ceylon, Bishop Caetano Antonio, a Goan Oratorian, in the mission of Kayts comprising of Delft and Punkudutivu had the catholic population of 3804. There were eight churches, of which three were built of stones, of which one was covered with tiles and two with the leaves of palms; the others an built of clay, and covered with the leaves of palms. Three of them were distant from one another by 200 paces; the others were distant from one another by one mile, two miles. Three were dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, one to St James the apostle, another to the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, another to St Sebastian, two to St Anthony. In the mission of Delft (Neduntivu) there were five churches built of clay and covered with the leaves of the palms; of which one was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, another to St John the Baptist, another to St Thomas the apostle, another to St Francis Xavier another to St Anthony. One was distant from another by one mile, half a mile, two miles, and three miles… Read more [via omiworld]