Senior UNP MP P. Dayaratne has urged the government to probe claims that the Mahinda Rajapakse`EDs camp used Karuna faction to its advantage at the recently concluded presidential polls.
Claiming that several UPFA politicians took LTTE-Karuna rift to their advantage, the Ampara District MP claimed that the UNP on several occasions warned the government of its short-sighted policy vis a vis the rebel faction.
`We warned of dire consequences,` he said.
Dayaratne accused a section of the armed forces and influential politicians of settling Karuna loyalists at Mantottam in the Ampara district.
`I brought this to the notice of the government and security forces as this would have a negative impact on the entire peace process.`
He pointed out that some of the Karuna loyalists recently revealed their involvement with Ministers Maitripala Sirisena, Douglas Devananda and A. L. M. Athaulla. Sirisena denied their claims.
STF Commandant DIG Nimal Lewke, too, denied claims that his troops colluded with any faction.
Pro-LTTE TamilNet last week claimed that there had been a conspiracy involving Karuna and a section of the military backed by a group of influential politicians.
Government sources said that Karuna escaped from Batticaloa with the help of UNP National List MP Ali Zaheer Moulana. It was no secret the MP was asked to quit parliament immediately after the LTTE brought Moulana`s role to the notice of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, the sources said.
The sources said that UNP frontliner Milinda Moragoda recently said in an interview that the UNP engineered the LTTE split during Wickremesinghe`s tenure as the Prime Minister. An aide to Moragoda said that the former minister`s statement was taken out of context, twisted and presented in a way detrimental to the interests of the UNP.
Although the LTTE succeeded in dislodging Karuna loyalists from the banks of the Verugal river in an operation carried out with the knowledge of the then government, they continue small group operations in the Ampara-Batticaloa region, thereby posing a huge threat to the LTTE.
Although the government had been accused of turning a blind eye to Karuna group`s activity, there were instances where they were arrested or killed by security forces.
Meanwhile, cordon and search operations continued in the Jaffna peninsula where 15 soldiers died in two claymore mine blasts on December 4 and December 6. Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka has directed the Jaffna Security Forces Headquarters to launch a series of operations to track down the attackers.
Troops targeted several villages including Kachchai area in Thenmaradchy, Ariyalai in Jaffna, Myilankadu in Valikamam North, Erlalai North and Mandan in Vadamaradchy area. The operation got underway last Tuesday.