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No More Visas on Arrival

 
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PattyFlipper



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 563

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:38 am    Post subject: No More Visas on Arrival Reply with quote

Quote:
EXPATRIATES have hit back at new immigration rules that will mean people from dozens of countries will no longer be able to obtain visas on arrival.

The changes are being implemented in a bid to prevent violations and ensure equal treatment with countries that enforce strict entry rules on Bahrainis, said Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa.

Visitors from the UK and 26 other European Union countries, as well as the US, Canada, Australia and Japan will be among those affected.


Full story:
http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=323695
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems an odd decision... what does the grapevine say as to the reason Pattyflipper?

Seems to be shooting themselves in the foot since tourism is a major source of their income.

What about expats with GCC residence visas? No more weekend trips to Bahrain from Saudi? Shocked

VS
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PattyFlipper



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 563

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The official reason seems to be retaliation against citizens of countries which make Bahrainis jump through lots of hoops in order to get visas. Senior members of 'the Family' are also very annoyed with the pro-activist/ant-regime stance taken by some Western governments and media. I wonder however if there is any connection with the recent attack on a British expat or 'warnings' from a Shia 'Youth' organization that Western expats are propping up the regime with their presence and should leave the country for their own safety. Perhaps some of the board members actually in the country have their ears closer to the rumour mill?

No mention of any exemption for GCC residents, but the regulation does not appear to have been properly formulated yet, as His Excellency the Minister has only just pulled it out of his .... er ..... hat. It may well be that the notion is quashed or else lost in the 'consultation' process before it is implemented. Let us hope so. Bahrain's loss will be the UAE's and Qatar's gain if they do go ahead with this.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure that it actually came from his hat... Laughing

Another rule made when in a snit without any real thought about the consequences...

Hopefully it will disappear before it ever gets implemented. Another government flailing desperately in the blowback of the "Arab Spring."

VS
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12370
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect the natrionalities involved are predictable ! Who in their right mind would go to Bahrain now anyway ?!
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eha



Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: ME

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="scot47: Who in their right mind would go to Bahrain now anyway ?![/quote]

Well, quite. I'm amazed how many people don't seem to know what's goin on there... : QuiteBahraini #BloodyThursday: #Bahrain protests: live - Telegraph http://tgr.ph/wCfMvC

Or maybe I mean how many are swallowing government propaganda. Do Gulf expats REALLY never leave their compounds?
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PattyFlipper



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 563

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmmmm ... So this is why the regime has decided to rescind the availability of visas-on-arrival:

Quote:
Meanwhile, four Western activists were yesterday deported after being caught taking part in an illegal women's demonstration in Al Qadam. It was found they gave false information while filling out immigration forms, the Information Affairs Authority said.

Tighe Barry, William James Kelly, Susan "Medea" Benjamin and Elaine Martha obtained tourist visas upon arrival at Bahrain International Airport last week and later took part in illegal protests. Ms Benjamin wore a T-shirt that read "Unarmed civilian" as she took part in the march.

A number of foreigners have taken advantage of the "visa upon arrival" system to break laws in Bahrain last week.

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=323959

I'd previously heard rumours of Western 'activists', including some on work/residence visas.

It seems that the new regulations will almost certainly be implemented.
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mashkif



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
Seems an odd decision... what does the grapevine say as to the reason Pattyflipper?

Seems to be shooting themselves in the foot since tourism is a major source of their income.

What about expats with GCC residence visas? No more weekend trips to Bahrain from Saudi? Shocked

VS






The reason is that a dozen or so disparate Western citizens attended pro-democracy protests in the past ten or so days. In addition, Western human rights organizations send members to monitor, observe, fact-find, and investigate the situation.

When you're engaged in collectively brutalizing and oppressing a vast segment of a population on a daily basis while concomitantly trying to project an image of yourself as a modernizer and a force of progress, you don't want a bunch of people from truly democratic and progressive countries snooping around and reporting back.

Basically, the odious Khalife regime has given up on any pretense of pursuing meaningful reforms; it's now interested solely in consolidating and maintaining its power.

Unfortunately for the protesters, unlike in Syria where there are Turkey, Lebanon or Iraq to provide some kind of support, in Bahrain it's Saudi Arabia - which is even more repressive - or the sea. Unless Obama grows a pair and tells Hamad to stop pulling this sh*t or else, the pro-reform activist movement is screwed. And of course, that'll never happen because we have too much to lose in the short- and medium-term by aggravating Bahrain.
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PattyFlipper



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 563

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mashkif wrote:

When you're engaged in collectively brutalizing and oppressing a vast segment of a population on a daily basis while concomitantly trying to project an image of yourself as a modernizer and a force of progress, you don't want a bunch of people from truly democratic and progressive countries snooping around and reporting back.


Indeed. I wonder however whether these same Westerners will be as pro-active in their efforts to expose and condemn the inevitable inequities perpetrated by the Islamo-fascist cabal which will eventually replace the present regime as surely as night follows day? (This is of course assuming said Westerners are actually able to gain entry to the country in the first place). Anyone who imagines that toppling the Al Khalifa will usher in an enlightened age of Western-style 'democracy', tolerance and social justice is living in cloud-cuckoo land.

Quote:
BAHRAIN needs Islamic reforms more than constitutional amendments, according to two leading MPs.

Parliament second vice-chairman and former Al Asala bloc MP Shaikh Adel Al Mawaada and MP Abdulhaleem Murad made the comments during the extraordinary parliament session.

"Parliament is the real source of power and we should consider real Islamic reforms to the country to fulfil the constitution, which states that Islam is the religion of state," said Shaikh Al Maawada.

"Democracy is not following the West, but adhering to Islamic values, and even in the West today they are discussing major changes to their democracy to be in line with the modern principles of Islam.

"The problems that Bahrain has seen are mainly due to its disregard of Islamic values and it should be the government's approach if we are to be protected from issues in future."

Mr Murad said religious reforms were more necessary than constitutional amendments because the country needed to build a strong Islamic foundation. "My message is to the King, those amendments are not up to expectations because they neglect real solutions to real problems in the country like the sale of alcohol something that is banned by God and yet is allowed."


Heaven help the country, its educated middle-class, and its womenfolk in particular, when that lot are in charge.
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mashkif



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PattyFlipper wrote:
mashkif wrote:

When you're engaged in collectively brutalizing and oppressing a vast segment of a population on a daily basis while concomitantly trying to project an image of yourself as a modernizer and a force of progress, you don't want a bunch of people from truly democratic and progressive countries snooping around and reporting back.


Indeed. I wonder however whether these same Westerners will be as pro-active in their efforts to expose and condemn the inevitable inequities perpetrated by the Islamo-fascist cabal which will eventually replace the present regime as surely as night follows day? (This is of course assuming said Westerners are actually able to gain entry to the country in the first place). Anyone who imagines that toppling the Al Khalifa will usher in an enlightened age of Western-style 'democracy', tolerance and social justice is living in cloud-cuckoo land.





I highly doubt anyone labors under any such illusion. If the Khalife scumbags are overthrown, Bahrain very probably will become an Islamic Republic a la the neighboring Iran, which is a thoroughly odious entity. But that's what the people want, and they HAVE to be allowed to express their will. Trouble with democracy is that it sometimes produces very unpalatable results (q.v. Hitler or Hamas).

You know what though? Every people has to go through this process of evolutionary trial and error in order to end up with a genuine democracy based on pluralism and tolerance. It would be foolish to expect any nation that only ever knew autocracy to get it right in one election. BUT THAT IS NO EXCUSE TO PERPETUATE AUTOCRACY! (And certainly no excuse for US, the West, to support that autocracy, particularly when we peddle that human rights routine to all and sundry.)
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