My curiosity bothered your silence when my calls went unanswered when I checked on you and your family’s health when Geneva too went down on the lockdown mode. But I guessed that you would be busy with the usual diplomatic community work in and around Geneva. Your routine, Sinhala Avurudu Greetings never reached me this year, now I know that you had been battling with the virus to save your life, my friend.
Sheik Ibrahim Mohamed Jiffrey (S I M Jiffrey) is affectionately known as “Jiffrey Nana” amongst the Sri Lankans who are frequent visitors to the UN meetings in Geneva. I am sure, like me, your network of friends are shocked to learn their friend fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic on 2nd May 2020.
I offer my profound sympathies to Ruveena; Jiffrey’s wife, and to their beloved children; Shifana, Shafwan, Shafna, Shifna, and partners, grandchildren at this moment of grief. I know very well, how hard Jiffrey worked to bring all of you up as a responsible father teaming up with Ruveena to lay a solid foundation, Jiffrey you can leave them happily, my friend.
Our friendship and bonding are almost touching four decades since we started to work in the Indian Bank, Colombo. But we became very close when I began to visit Geneva for my official work frequently. Your house was another second home to me, as you and your family took excellent care of my friends and me with open arms. Your kind hospitality and selfless caring and sharing attitudes equally valued by my friends who got acquainted with you. Wherever I stayed in Geneva or Nyon, you brought me a home-cooked plate of Sri Lankan rice and curry for me after a hard day’s work. I cannot forget your kind gestures, my dear.
In July 2019, you visited my place in Singapore with Ruveena, and extended an invitation to my wife to join me in our next visit to Geneva to be your guests; Sadly we will not be able to meet your expectations Jiffrey.
You are destined to return to your lord graciously, having taken the last stop on this holy month of Ramadhan. Moreover, as devoted Muslim you received a dignified burial in Geneva, respecting your believes and faith amidst the tragic circumstances under which you departed from loved ones, which I consider an honour without humiliation as a great consolation for all of us.
“May Almighty Allah dwell him in Jannatul Firdaus.”
9th May 2020