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A message from Bahrain to Bernie Ecclestone and the WMSC

NEWS STORY
03/03/2011

As the FIA's World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) prepares to make a decision on rescheduling the Bahrain GP, and Bernie Ecclestone suggests that everything appears to have settled down, a Pitpass reader claims otherwise.

Ever since Bahrain's Crown Prince announced that the Kingdom of Bahrain would "withdraw from hosting this year's F1 Grand Prix race so that the country can focus on its process of national dialogue", the powers that be in F1 - having magnanimously opted to take the financial hit - have been busy looking for ways in which to get the race back on the calendar.

Clearly believing the line 'no news is good news', Bernie Ecclestone today told BBC Sport that he is now looking at rescheduling the race at the end of the season, opining that all appears to have settled down in Bahrain. "You never see anything about Bahrain on TV now," he said.

However, a regular reader informs Pitpass:

"As a resident here I can assure you things have not calmed down, in fact on a day by day basis I would suggest the protests are growing stronger.

"Last night the Grand Mosque was the scene of protests," the reader continued, attaching a picture taken "before it all kicked off".

"It should be noted the protesters marched on the Ruling family mosque and are again gathering as I write this," our source adds. "The papers here will not cover the story as they will loose their license and end up in jail. Also we do not have the same media coverage as Libya is much more interesting and I expect the government to take advantage of this while eyes are elsewhere.

"The protests continue here on a day by day basis and as I open my window, this evening (above) I hear helicopters and police building up for another night of protests."

Meanwhile, one of the country's biggest business events has been postponed, the Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference (MEOS) which was due to run from March 20 to 23.

Established in 1979, this year's event was expected to attract more than 300 exhibitors of oil and gas products from 27 countries to the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Meanwhile, according to the Gulf Daily News, the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry young entrepreneurs committee chairman Khalid Al Ameen said that economically the entire tourism season was a write-off.

"It (the postponement) doesn't really matter because we've lost the whole season anyway," he said, "with the cancellation of the Formula One race and (all music events at the) Spring of Culture. It will be a tough year for all traders and everybody in Bahrain; unemployment will go up and the economy will come down.”

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