Asylum seeker gets diplomatic post
In an unprecedented move -- and perhaps a first for the Guinness Book of Records -- the Sri Lanka government has appointed an asylum seeker in the United States as a high ranking diplomat in Washington DC. Ali Zahir Moulana, who helped facilitate Karuna's defection to Colombo, has been rewarded for his services with the job of minister, the third ranking diplomat at the Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington DC.
The irony of the appointment is that his application for political asylum and permanent residency in the US is still pending with the US government — even as he is assigned the job of representing Sri Lanka as one of the country's diplomats.
It was Mr. Moulana's request for asylum in the US that facilitated his visa to arrive in Washington. Perhaps his new appointment would negate the asylum process and his permanent residency.
The US State Department does not tolerate permanent residents or US citizens being named as diplomats in Washington DC. As to the appointment of an asylum seeker, that may be a first even for the State Department.