Bahrain ministries, public sector back to work

March 22, 2011
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Bahrain regained a sense of normalcy on Sunday after ministries and public establishments reportedly resumed work.

Bahrain oil and gas authority and electricity and water authority reported regular attendance in line with the instructions of the civil service bureau and a normal presence at the oil and gas companies.

However, the authority said in a statement that attendance was quasi-normal in three major companies and that petrol-filling stations operated normally without disruption.

In schools, around 90 per cent of the administrative staff went to work, but most of the teachers did not show up, ostensibly in keeping with requests circulated on the Internet not to resume classes, a source said.

The civil service bureau, in charge of public employees, had urged the resumption of routine work on Sunday after days of unrest that hit the country.

Schools were asked to re-open for academic and administrative staff, but students were told that they would be informed later about the date of their return to classes.

In Manama, the Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments ministry denied reports that Shiite mosques had been demolished in reaction to protests.

“We launched an investigation into the reports and found that there was no truth to the allegations that some places of worship had been torn down,” the ministry said in a statement.

“We urge all people not to heed these malicious claims and rumours. All sects have to stand together and work together for the sake of national unity,” the ministry said.

Asian diplomats said that one Pakistani and one Bangladeshi died and at least 34 Asian expatriates, 20 Bangladeshi and 14 Pakistanis, were injured as a result of hate attacks in the last week.

An Indian worker was accidentally shot after being caught in crossfire between anti-government protesters and police, a local daily said.

But, according to the diplomats, the number of wounded Asians could be higher amid claims that not all victims reported the crimes.

The attack on Asian expatriates is believed to have been carried out by anti-government protesters, Gulf Daily News said.

Pakistan Embassy charge d’affaires said of the 14 Pakistanis injured, three were still in critical condition and around 300 Pakistani bachelors and 20 families continued to stay at the Pakistan Club and Pakistan School for fear of returning home.

Indian Ambassador Mohan Kumar said the embassy was not aware of any hate attacks on Indians.

“I can only confirm that one of our nationals died after he was hit by crossfire,” he told the daily.

Albert del Rosario, the Philippines Foreign Secretary, told his compatriots in Manama that they would be protected by Bahrain’s authorities.

“When, I arrived here, I met with the Prime Minister and other members of the Royal Family. The impression left on me was that the Kingdom is a very peaceful place and that Filipinos are protected,” del Rosario said.

“In fact, the Prime Minister assured me thrice that they will protect Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) as their own,” he said, quoted by Daily Tribune.

According to del Rosario, the several Filipino workers he met told him that “they do not want to go back and that they want to work here.”

Bahrain is home to around 40,000 Filipinos.

The Sri Lankan consulate said that Sri Lankans were safe in Bahrain, but insisted that they should ensure all their documents were in order, “just in case things went wrong.”

In Damascus, Syria’s foreign minister said that the presence of Peninsula Shield units in Bahrain was part of the agreements between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.

Waleed Al Mua’allem told the London-based pan-Arab daily Al Sharq Al Awsatthat the units were not occupying forces, a claim that often repeated by Iran and people who opposed their presence in Bahrain.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/bahrain/bahrain-ministries-public-sector-back-to-work-1.779883

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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