Indonesia: Grand Prix Dreams

Indonesia: Grand Prix Dreams
Cartoon by Guz Wid for BenarNews

Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Nov. 12 inaugurated his country's first Grand Prix-class motorcycle racing track, which is a centerpiece in plans to transform a coastal area of Lombok Island into a multi-billion dollar development project and five-star resort aimed at attracting tourists and building up the local economy.

The Mandalika project, being built with China-linked money, is part of an ambitious program uneviled by Jokowi in 2016 to create "10 new Balis" in Southeast Asia's largest country. The United Nations and activists have criticized the project for alleged human rights violations against locals, who say they've not received fair compensation for their land cleared to make way for the development.

In March 2022, the new motorcycling track is scheduled to host its first MotoGP race on the international Grand Prix circuit.

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