Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Two major issues need to be mentioned in your coverage. Firstly, the arrest of two political activists on charges of printing material criticizing the regime and the Bandargate scandal.
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It is astonishing if not oxymoronic that so-called democratic elections are held at a time when innocent political activists are jailed, and a string of royal totalitarian edicts the latest of which is today's ban on worker's strikes virtually everywhere except your backyard.
MANAMA: Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa yesterday issued an edict banning strikes at vital facilities.
Striking or calling for one at these locations are forbidden as they 'may disturb national security and disrupt people's daily course of lives'.
Establishments include security, civil defence, airports, seaports, hospitals, health centres and pharmacies.
The ban also applies to all means of transport involving people or merchandise, telecommunications, electricity, water, bakeries, educational establishments and oil and gas facilities.
I guess Bahrain is lucky that it doesn't have an underground tube system where strikes frequently occur bringing one of the biggest world cities to a standstill. Where protesting on a daily basis outside the Houses of Parliament in London, is legal, however much Tony Blair hates it. In fact, earlier this year, university staff in nearly all British universities earlier this year held an assessment strike for months. Industrial action and unionisation are the cornerstones of a democracy, however inconvenient.
Reportedly, an infamous minister once told Hamad, "take the constitution and tailor it to your size". That is what we ended up having, a deMOCKracy tailored and fitted to Alkhalifa's interests. Just so nice and convenient, is it not?