Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘A Day of Mongolia’ thrived on Chinggis Square

Some dedicated Mongolians spent Monday outside at Central Square.
They gathered to attend a peaceful, public sit-in strike for “A Day of Mongolia-2014”, held to show policymakers how citizens are living and what challenges and difficulties they face.

The participants believed that the authorities do not know how ordinary citizens live, as they live near the State Palace and Zaisan area, and the West and East central intersections. The strike organizers pointed out that almost all of the one thousand chairs prepared for the event were populated.

Usually, elders attend gatherings but they become desperate to go home as they get tired after standing for hours, that’s why the decision was made to provide them with chairs, explained the event organizers.

There were many people who came with prepared posters stating the problems they face and the issues they want the authorities to resolve. It was a two-day open gathering for attendees to deliver petitions and comments on paper to members of parliament.

The demands gathered during the strike will be reviewed during the meeting of the Justice Coalition. Leaders of some civil movements and Members of Parliament, including O.Baasankhuu, attended to support the gathering crowd. Representatives from the Union of Mongolian Tenants, merchants from Narantuul Market, as well as circus performers took part in the meeting to state their opinions.

The following are comments from some sit-in attendees about what issues they want delivered to decision makers, published in Undesnii Shuudan Daily Newspaper.

Senior citizen M.Bold:

Banks are robbing the elderly who are receiving a pension loan. I have borrowed around 10 million MNT under a two year-term pension loan. But the bank has withdrawn around four million 400 thousand MNT. I have written a petition to Minister S.Erdene, however, I still haven’t heard anything from him.

O.Doljinjav, 88 years old:

My son retired after working for 26 years with the airport police. Now he is blind and tired a lot. I worked for the state since I was 18 years old and retired in 1975. I get 300 thousand MNT. My pension is not enough to help my son, even to feed myself. Is there any place that can help my son?

U.Rina, citizen of Khan-Uul district:

I worked and served the state for 30 years and retired in 2008 with a monthly pension of 110 thousand MNT. It has been increased and has become 240 thousand MNT. I came here today to tell state authorities that it is time to change the pension policy.

Unit product traders behind Narantuul market:

In the area we are operating at the moment, over 100 traders used to earn a living selling second-hand stuff. There are around four to five people in a trader’s family, which means the issue touches upon the lives of 500 people. We didn’t beg for any welfare from the government and we didn’t beg for food from anyone. But the policemen are pressuring us to stop our trade. They seized our products and never gave it back. They are treating us like dogs and the pressure and bullying has gone out of control.

Citizen T.Serjee:

Elders are allowed to be treated at traditional spas and resorts two times a year. Even though half of the expenses are covered by the state, spa resorts are too expensive. Is there any chance of taking care of this issue?

Member of Parliament G.Uyanga:

We have aimed to show the authorities and decision makers today’s life in society, the way it is without any additional fixes. I wish every state authority sitting in the tall black buildings or the State Palace would come out of their rooms and be introduced to real lives. I wish they realized why the decisions they are making are not meeting reality. The majority of policymakers do not know what lives are like for ordinary citizens and that’s why they make poor decisions.

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