He is that exceptional politician who understands the limits of power. What he can do now and what he could hope to achieve when the dust is settled has guided his path to success. He has always confined himself to what he could realistically accomplish and is deeply conscious of that which cannot always control events. This crucial ability to keep himself in perspective has endeared him in his native Kandy in the hill country and in his political bastion in the Eastern Province. He embraces the challenges and opportunities with equal élan.
Acknowledged by a broad political spectrum for his charm and persuasive skills, both admirers and adversaries credit him with positive interventions during and after the conflict that ravaged the island until its end in 2009.
He has been the essential emissary of Sri Lanka to the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) under successive administrations. His cordial relations with the Islamic countries has allowed Sri Lanka to muster vital international support both political and economic through the much sought-after representation that he is often called to make on behalf of his motherland.
Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, meets Hon.Minister of Urban Development Water Supply and Drainage Rauff Hakeem at the Taj Samudra Hotel.
The present Minister of External Affairs of India ShrimathiSushmaSwaraj openly sought his assistance to act as intermediary between former President of Sri Lanka and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main Tamil political formation that represents the Tamil populations living in former war zones.
Mr Hakeem is deeply engrossed in tireless pursuit of reconciliation of political parties representing Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and other communities of the country, in the post-war period. He also served as Chairperson of AALCO (Asian and African Legal Cooperation) an intergovernmental initiative.
Abdul Rauff Hakeem, born April 13, 1960, in his early years attended his village school and continued his schooling at the prestigious Royal College, Colombo, Sri Lanka. He is an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and holds a Master’s degree in law (LLM) from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He was enrolled as a solicitor by the British Law society in 1984.
Fluent in Tamil, Sinhala and English he writes Tamil poetry. A keen sportsman and an avid cricket buff, he is happily married and is father of two young daughters.
He waded in to active politics in 1987 as the principal adjutant of Marhoom M H M Ashraff, the legendary founder-leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. Mr Hakeem entered Parliament in 1994 and claims an unbroken parliamentary career spanning 21 years.
The SLMC is well entrenched in its cradle - the Eastern Province, where MarhoomAshraff convened its first conclave. Today, the Province has a chief minister from SLMC’s ranks. The party has a dominant presence representing Muslim aspirations in governance at local government, provincial council and Parliamentary levels.
It is an effective pressure in the democratic discourse of the nation.
Under the leadership of the founder M H M Ashraff and his immediate successor the current Leader Abdul Rauff Hakeem, the party has played a pivotal role in major development work in the Eastern Province. The consequential projects include the South Eastern University, Hospitals with modern facilities, roads and bridges network that offers efficient connectivity to the remotest corners of a province that moved the region from 19th century backwaters to the 21st century relevance and development.
Ministerial and Parliamentary Posts held by Abdul Rauff Hakeem:
|2015 to date||Minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage|
|2010 – 2014||Minister of Justice|
|2007-2008||Minister of Posts and Telecommunication|
|2002-2004||Minister of Port Development and Shipping|
|Minister of Eastern Development and Muslim Religious Affairs|
|2001-2004 & 2006-2008||Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, Parliament|
|2000-2001||Minister of Internal and International Trade and Commerce, Muslim Religious Affairs and Shipping Development|
|1994-2000||Deputy Chairman of Committees, Parliament|