The seventieth Regional Committee session of World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region is to start on Wednesday.
While it is to be held in the Maldives, a number of health officials from member countries are expected to take part in the meeting, as well as senior WHO officials and its Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
India and Myanmar’s Health Ministers are reported to have cancelled their trips, reasons yet to be confirmed.
Bachchan is still expected to take part in this meeting, despite the call for him to boycott the trip, due to the government’s blatant disregard for human rights and democracy.
It was Galolhu-South constituency MP Ahmed Mahloof who started this campaign, telling Bachchan that the people of Maldives are being “deprived of [our] constitutional rights and freedom“.
Needless to say, a lot of opposition supporters joined Mahloof in the call, as officials and supporters of the government started an anti-campaign.
To be honest, what is the point of these government officials making fools of themselves on social media. I personally don’t believe that there was ever a risk of Bachchan skipping out on this trip.
The WHO annual meeting is to focus on climate change, and how to build health systems’ resilience to climate change and minimize the increasing health risks due to it.
In addition, Bachchan is expected to advocate for urgent action against viral hepatitis, a preventable disease that kills thousands of people in the region every year.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 410,000 people die in the South-East Asia region per year, due to Hepatitis.
410,000 people die. Per year. Due to a PREVENTABLE disease.
So, how will the situation in Maldives be of any significance to Bachchan, or anyone visiting the Maldives?
The only thing they probably see is a bunch of opposition members complaining after their friends are locked up.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that is the situation here. It is so far beyond that, there is no freedom here, no room to express oneself freely, government officials are using the little power they have left to do whatever they please and making up laws as they go.
But, what does that have to with Bachchan?
There is a lot of injustice around the world, even right now, including the escalation of violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, but what is Bachchan doing?
Celebrating 29 million followers on Twitter.
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