President Mahinda Rajapaksa has expressed shock and sadness over the coal mine disaster in Soma, Turkey, about 150 miles south of Istanbul, last Tuesday (13th May 2014), which has up to now claimed the lives of over 280 miners and left several others injured.
In a message to his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, President Rajapaksa, while conveying heartfelt condolences over this tragedy, has voiced his 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 full text of President Rajapaksa’s letter to the Turkish President is as follows:
His Excellency Abdullah Gul
President of the Republic of Turkey
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.
President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka