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* Sri Lankan President offers condolences to Turkish counterpart on mine disaster
Fri, May 16, 2014, 07:28 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 16, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sent a message of condolence to Turkish President expressing his shock and sadness over last Tuesday's coal mine disaster in Soma, Turkey.

In a message to his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, President Rajapaksa, while conveying heartfelt condolences over the tragedy, has expressed hope that the other workers trapped in the mine will be rescued safely and the people of Turkey would be able to overcome this misfortune with their "characteristic fortitude and patience".

The coal mine disaster in Soma, Turkey, about 155 miles south of Istanbul, on May 13th has up to now claimed the lives of 283 miners and left around 80 others injured while as many as 120 more are trapped inside the mine.

Full text of President Rajapaksa's message to Turkish President:

His Excellency Abdullah Gul
President of the Republic of Turkey

Excellency,

I am deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the coal mine disaster in Soma, Turkey yesterday, which has claimed the lives of over 200 miners and left several others trapped inside the mine.

The Government and people of Sri Lanka join me in extending our heartfelt condolences to you, the Government and the people of Turkey, and in particular to the bereaved families over this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of pain and anguish.

Whilst wishing a quick recovery for those who have been injured in this incident, I am confident that all others who are still trapped in the mine would be rescued safely. I believe, the Turkish people would be able to overcome this tragedy with their innate fortitude and patience.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Mahinda Rajapaksa
President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

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