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* Sri Lanka President asks Libyan leader to restore peace in Libya
Sat, Mar 5, 2011, 01:24 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 04, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has asked the embattled Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to establish peace in that country as soon as possible.

Presidential Media Director General Bandula Jayasekara told media that Sri Lankan President has made this request to the Libyan leader when the President received a telephone call from him today.

"Establish peace in Libya as soon as possible and safeguard the lives of Libyan people," President Rajapaksa was quoted as saying to Gaddafi.

A stat-run Libyan TV has acknowledged the conversation between the two leaders. "The Sri Lankan president asked the brother leader to inform him about the current developments in Libya," a BBC report quoting state run Al-Jamahiriyah TV said.

The Sri Lankan government has close ties with Libya. President Rajapaksa was warmly welcomed by the Libyan leader when he visited Libya twice last year, in April and September.

Most recently in a move seen as strengthening bilateral ties with Libya, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's son, parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa met the Libyan leader in Tripoli in January this year.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka said it has chartered a flight to evacuate its nationals working in Libya.

The External Affairs Ministry has said that a charter flight carrying 400 workers will arrive in Sri Lanka this weekend and already 160 workers have been brought home.

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