Despite widespread protests and calls by human rights groups to call off the race , formula one seems keen to hold the race. And they are also spreading good news (propaganda) about it. An article on Bloomsberg claims that 3000 temporary jobs will be created in Bahrain due to the race and also that the race would earn 500 million USD for the Bahrain economy.
“The F1 generates huge returns for Bahrain by regenerating interest in Bahrain as a friendly and hospitable environment,” Sheikh Salman said.
Sheikh Salman is the chief executive officer of the Bahrain International Circuit which has also been criticized for firing folks on whims and fancies like liking a facebook age which promoted democracy for Bahrain.
The official news agency of Bahrain is doing even more propaganda hinting that the racing event is needed for national unity (while people are still getting arrested ?). Below is an excerpt from a press release on Bahrain News Agency’s website.
So unfortunate it was when the Bahrain Grand Prix Race was cancelled last year, even more unfortunate were the events that lead to that. Bahrain had gone through a rough period of time in 2011, but the comeback of the event of the year is proof that our beloved Bahrain can, is and will always be moving forward and in alignment with the progression of the rest of the world, that Bahrainis will, at the end of the day, always put their differences aside and unite in their love for their country, and the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix is the perfect event to set the ideal mood and the ideal scene for unity. The excitement, the anticipation, the economic opportunities and the festive events and shows that are all steady companions to the Grand Prix every year are sure to unite us.
The event is currently scheduled for the April 20-22 weekend, and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is in no mood to back down and cancel the race. In a rare show of support for any such activity. He made the following comments :
“Of course the race is going to happen. No worries at all,” Bernie Ecclestone
“What I don’t understand are the negative statements being made, people catching them and continuing them. They’re saying things they don’t understand.
“People say to me ‘There’s not going to be a race.’ And I say ‘Well how do you know?’ And they tell me they saw or read something, but it’s all nonsense.
“These people (the Bahrainis) were brave enough to start an event in that part of the world, and that’s it. We’ll be there as long as they want us.”
My personal opinion is that its shameful that commercial interest is being put above human rights and formula one will be allowed to be a showcase for Bahrain to fake to the world that all is ok.