Bahrain Monarchy suffers another setback as F1 race is likely off altogether.
June 8, 2011–New York
In a victory for supporters of democracy and equal rights in Bahrain, and a significant public relations setback for the failing al-Kalifa monarchy there, the October 30 Formula One race date briefly planned by the FIA appears once again dead in the water. Massive international objections of ordinary people who signed petitions and wrote in protest called attention to the hastily rescheduled race. In the end it was the objection of the racing teams who must approve the schedule change that cemented the shoes of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
In an article titled Motor racing-Bahrain GP likely to be canceled – Ecclestone, Reuters quoted racing chief Bernie Ecclestone from a BBC report
“Hopefully there’ll be peace and quiet and we can return in the future, but of course it’s not on,” the 80-year-old told the BBC.
“The schedule cannot be rescheduled without the agreement of the participants… they’re the facts.”
In an ill conceived and unintentionally transparent attempt on the part of the kingdom to retain itself as host of the F1 race, which had already been postponed from its original March 13 date, Hamad al-Kalifa, the hereditary ruler of Bahrain ignored the fact of 2000, occupying troops from neighboring Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and police cordons and nightly raids on the villages of the oppressed majority Shi’ite population there to declare an end to the euphemistically titled “state of national safety” (emergency martial-law). However, determined protests on the part of the Shia population and other supporters of democracy and equal rights in Bahrain rapidly shone through the veil of “normalcy” as they were met with the same brutal and extra-legal forms of repression that have been the norm since protests erupted in February led originally by youths under the democratic and non-sectarian banner “No Sunni No Shia, Just Bahrain”
The Bahrain Monarchy is based on the minority Sunni Population which accounts for less than 20% of the total population of the small Persian/Arab Gulf island nation when the large number of migrant workers who live there are factored into a total population of just over one million. Arab Shi’ites represent nearly 70 percent of the indigenous population and over half with the ex patriot population factored.
The Bahrain economy which had been successfully diversified to include manufacturing, oil production and a vibrant banking and services center in the capital of Manama has been in free-fall due to the violent and repressive response by the monarchy to the progressive demands of protesters and human rights activists.