Moulana in the soup over Karuna

by Shamindra Ferdinando

UNP National List MP Ali Zahir Moulana is facing a disciplinary inquiry over his alleged involvement with the renegade LTTE eastern commander Karuna. A senior party official said the leadership initiated inquiries after the LTTE accused the Batticaloa district MP of bringing Karuna and a few of his top aides in his own vehicle from Batticaloa to Colombo.

A well informed source said the top leadership was not aware of Moulana’s involvement with Karuna. "...he shouldn’t have compromised the leadership," the source said, while acknowledging the fact that the MP, being a resident of Batticaloa wouldn’t have been in a position to deny Karuna’s request. Speculation is rife Moulana, one of the four UNP National List MPs, is likely to resign his seat.

Party sources said, "The poor man would have faced threats from both factions. He was not in a position to ignore Karuna’s request for help. Now he faces the wrath of the LTTE’s Kilinochchi leadership."

The UNP is likely to make representations to the LTTE’s Kilinochchi leadership and possibly the Norwegians and other key players of what the source described as Moulana’s unilateral action. Karuna was reported to have left Batticaloa on April 11, two days after his cadres were routed in a fierce multi-pronged assault mounted by Prabhakaran loyalists.

Moulana was not available for comment on Tuesday and Wednesday. The UNP said the party would take a decision on Moulana.

The LTTE has claimed that after reaching the city, LTTE rebels had been taken to the five-star Hilton Colombo where they stayed a few days before moving out.