Foreign visits by Hakeem, Rishad fuels speculation
The reasons for this sudden departure had many persons in political circles wondering whether this was a precursor to them leaving the Ranil faction and going over to the Mahinda faction. This line of thinking was given even more weight as the duo was seen going in for a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena prior to departure from the island.
When inquiries were made from a spokesperson for the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress about the sudden foreign visit by former minister Hakeem, he had replied that the leader had gone abroad for personal reasons and that he would be back soon. (Sujith Hewajulige)