The sun-kissed islands of Maldives, that I call home, have always welcomed you and your family with open arms. My countrymen have for decades enjoyed watching your movies and each time you visited us you were an honoured guest.
I am told that you will again be in our midst next week. This time in the capacity of the WHO Goodwill Ambassador to attend the 70th East Asia Conference. I have read about your commitment to spread awareness on hepatitis and therefore understand that participating in this meeting will be important for you.
What I will say next may or may not resonate with you, but I will still make the effort as I know that you are an empathetic person with a thinking mind. Today, I want to share with you the sad truth about how our paradise island is fast transforming into a place where fear stalks people. Thus news flashes on killing of a prominent blogger , manhandling of women protestors by the police or roughing up of opposition Parliamentarians is the new normal and fails to shock. Any voice raised against the tyranny unleashed by the corrupt and dictatorial government of President Yameen is silenced , either by death or imprisonment. Journalists dissapear without trace and civil activists threatened. While we suffer this oppression and see our youthful democracy crumble before our eyes, the world watches silently- the same world that entralled in the beauty of my homeland doesn’t utter a word as the very spirit of the MALDIVES faces the threat of destruction.
When multilateral organizations like the WHO host events in our country at a time when it’s citizens are under seige, it only legitimizes the undemocratic actions of the government. Isnt it ironical that while senior health officials from more than 10 countries assemble in the Maldives, our government denies an opposition parliamentarian the basic right to medical. Instead, it confiscates the parliamentarian’s passport so that he is unable to travel abroad for treatment.
Sir, while your message on tackling the problem of hepatitis is important, I’m sure you will find many other opportunities to convey this message. Therefore, I APPEAL to you to stay away from the forthcoming WHO conference and instead send out a loud and clear message that you stand with ordinary Maldavians like me and share our anguish on the recent developments in our country. This gesture will not only empower our movement to restore democracy in the country, I am certain it will shake the internal community from its slumber vis-a-vis Maldives.
Sir, the people of my country wait in anticipation of your support to our effort to save our beautiful home and with the hope that in the near future these dark clouds will lift and we can once again welcome you with open arms in the soft glow of the Maldives sun.