It is almost two months since my dearest friend and guide Sulaiman Jiffrey Mohideen (better known as Moiya) passed away after the Ramazan festival and I still cannot believe that he has left us and gone to his almighty. His passing away has left me and his closest friends specially Maxi, Rohan and Nimal not forgetting Daya Pelpola presently Ambassador, Rome, in tears. I cannot forget the Annual Voetlight Dinner organized by the Voetlight Society exclusively for Lawyers where I always organized the table for the ten of us headed by none other than Daya Pelpola including Nuala, Nalini my wife, Mano and Sudath Jayasundara. Every year I pick up Moiya for the event and safely dropped him back at his residence. I cannot forget the days when he called me to pick him up to go to Hulftsdorp when his driver was on leave. On the way he would request me to switch on the radio of my car to listen to the golden oldies.
Moiya was one year senior to me, but we both associated like friends till his demise. I retained him as counsel in cases in the District Court, Civil Appellate Court and Supreme Court not forgetting the famous case against the Finance and Guarantee Limited and Golden Key Limited. He commanded a good rapport with the Judges who also respected his honesty, legal prowess and his seniority at the bar. He functioned as the Treasurer of the BASL for the three consecutive years and was elected uncontested. He never failed to attend the Bar Council Meetings held on Saturdays of the end of each and every month.
I accompanied him for the meetings as well as all functions organised by Colombo Law Society of which I was an Executive Committee Member and BASL. It is with a heavy heart I say that I am missing his companionship at this moment when I go for the Bar Council Meeting all by myself.
Even after his appointment as the High Commissioner to UAE, he was in constant touch with me regularly at least once a week and when I did not hear from him I called him to inquire about him and his work. Just one week before his departure from Dubai when I called him he just casually told me that he knocked his toe against the stair case railing and he was going to the doctor but I did not know that it was for his terminal illness till I visited him at his home. After hearing that he had come back to Sri Lanka for treatment I heard the shocking news about his illness from none other than his dearest wife Neloufer. When I heard the news I prayed to God to save him from his deadly illness but it was a matter of time. After the Ramazan festival I got a frantic call from his daughter late in the evening that her dad has passed away. All in my family convey our deepest sympathies to his beloved wife Neloufer and his children at this hour of grief.