Monday, April 28, 2014

Mongolia Brief April 25, 2014 Part II



Mongolia-Laos consultative meeting held
Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and Laos held a consultative meeting in Vientiane city of Laos on April 24.

Co-chaired by Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia D.Gankhuyag and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos Sounthone Xayachack, the meeting discussed issues concerning bilateral political and economic relationship and cooperation, as well as some issues related to the integration in Asia and the Pacific.
Mongolia is carrying out some projects and programs with goals to develop animal husbandry and veterinary in Laos that include an extension of the Laos-Mongolia Friendship hospital founded with Mongolia’s aid and a project for rice cultivation in Laos with a view to supply its domestic needs.


Ts.Elbegdorj expresses condolences over South Korean ferry tragedy
Ulaanbaatar, April 27 (MONTSAME) The President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj Friday sent a letter of condolences to his counterpart of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye.
"On behalf of the people of Mongolia and on my own, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to you Ms President Park, the families of the victims, the injured and all the people of Korea over the Sewol ferry accident, a tragedy that cost many lives, especially young students,” the letter says.
“We are deeply saddened by the news that the chances of survival are becoming slimmer by the hour. I would like to express my utmost heartfelt condolences and sympathy to bereaved family members and hope that the people of Korea have the strength and endurance to cope with this tragedy.
The people of Mongolia are praying with candlelight and offering deepest sympathy to the families of the victims and the people of Korea" the President says in the letter.


Speaker attends “Intellectual property—State golden fund” exhibition
Ulaanbaatar, April 27 (MONTSAME) The Speaker of the State Great Khural (parliament) Z.Enkhbold; and president of the Mongolia’s National Union of Metallurgy and Machine Productions (MNUMMP) G.Batkhuu MP took part in a fair named “Intellectual property—State golden fund” mounted Saturday on the central square.
The exhibition was co-organized by the MNUMMP and the Mongolian Union for Inventors (MUI) dedicated to the World Intellectual Property Day which is annually celebrated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on April 26. National wealth makers, inventors, innovators and companies displayed their products to the public at the event.
Main objectives of this year’s exhibition are to introduce and propagandize products made by Mongolian innovators and to connect them with national producers. It will help to increase productivity of intellectual innovations and to contribute to a development of the country, the organizers said.
Seeing every product at the exhibition, the parliamentary leaders stated that the state promises to support the innovators and inventors with a tax policy.
During the event, the Speaker granted prizes to foremost young engineers and inventors.   


“Responsibility, monitoring and implementation” online meeting runs
Ulaanbaatar, April 27 (MONTSAME) The annual deficit of the Mongolia’s external trade was about USD one billion in previous years, and the deficit by quarter was USD 400 million, whereas it declined to USD 9.1 million by first quarter of this year. It means that the national economy is reviving.
Deputy head of the Cabinet Secretariat for Government Ch.Saikhanbileg said it at the “Responsibility, monitoring and implementation” monthly online meeting held Friday with authorities of Ministries and agencies. 
Saikhanbileg reported that 11 provinces have had new diagnostic centers, and the city’s #1 central hospital has launched a project on liver transplantation together with the organ transplantation center at the South Korean “ASAN” medical center. A surgery of stem cell transplantation has been performed successfully first time in Mongolia, he added.
The previous month, the Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Bold; and the Ambassador of Japan to Mongolia signed an exchange note on soft loan and grant aid for engineering higher education and for cultural non-refundable aid.
Accordingly, the Japanese side will give seven billion 535 million JPY (some 75 million USD) soft loan to the “Engineering Higher Education” project, a non-project aid of 750 million JPY or 7.5 million USD, and a cultural non-refundable of 71 million 700 thousand JPY or some 700 thousand USD to our country, Saikhanbileg said.
The education project intends to involve a thousand Mongolian students of engineering and technical science in a four-year study program, to run professional trainings and seminars, and to set up hi tech in laboratories and scientific experiment classes.
27 legal persons have been restricted to attend procurement actions to be done with the state and local capitals due to violating some clauses of the law on buying products, works and services with state money, in accordance with an order of the Ministry of Finance, Saikhanbileg reported.   


TDB Awarded “Best Commercial Bank Mongolia” for Second Consecutive Year
April 22 (tdbm.mn) “Global Banking and Finance Review Awards” recognized Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia (TDB) as the 2014 Award Winner of the “Best Commercial Bank Mongolia”.
The Global Banking and Finance Review Awards are known throughout the global banking and financial community. They reflect the innovation, achievement, strategy, progressive and inspirational changes taking place within the financial sector of each nations.
TDB was rewarded the “Best Corporate Bank Mongolia” in 2012 and “Best Commercial Bank Mongolia” in 2013. The year of 2014 has proved to be another successful year for TDB as it maintained its dominance in the Mongolian financial sector.
We, on behalf of TDB, would like to congratulate and thank all employees, valued customers, and partnering organizations for their effort and commitment.


Mongolian delegation visit Canadian cities
Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) A Mongolian delegation led by a chief of a working group on reducing traffic N.Gantomor are visiting Canadian cities of Calgary and Vancouver these days.
In Canada, the delegation will be guided around the city and introduced city planning, road technologies, land management, waste treatment and activities of housing corporations.
The Mongolian delegation visited infrastructures of Calgary city n the province of Alberta that s situated at the confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately 80 km (50 mi) east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies.
The visit of the working group representatives to Canada will continue until April 30.


Stock exchange news for April 25
Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Friday, a total of one million 113 thousand and 594 shares of 23 JSCs were traded costing MNT 624 million 697 thousand and 124.69.
"Mongolia development" /one million units/, "Remikon” /89 thousand and 443 units/, "Merex” /11 thousand and 039 units/, "E-trans logistics” /3,413 units/ and "Genco tour bureau” /2,197 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Mongolia development” (MNT 600 million), "Remikon" (MNT 13 million 415 thousand and 370), "UB hotel" (MNT five million), "Merex” (MNT one million 218 thousand and 246) and "BDSec" (MNT one million 086 thousand and 500).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 618 billion 311 million 980 thousand and 480. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,753.62, increasing by MNT 255.19 or 1.65% against the previous day.


Outreach trip to Selenge and Khuvsgul Provinces
April 19 (mongolia.usembassy.org) Embassy staff from the Public Affairs section led an outreach trip with our Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) and one Mongolian alumni of U.S. Government (USG) exchange programs.  The envoy traveled to two rural provinces, Khuvsgul and Selenge, and made stops at soums as well as the aimag capitals. 
During the trip, staff gave public lectures about USG exchange programs, met with representatives of ministries of education and culture, gave workshops on NGO management, and talked about the embassy’s small grants.  ETAs visited local schools where they gave English lessons and presentations about educational exchange programs. 
The trip itinerary was designed to make connections with aimag leaders, to meet with NGOs serving countryside residents, and to reach out to rural students and school teachers, all with the goal of encouraging people from rural areas to participate in embassy and USG programs.      


OT: Celebrating World Day for Health and Safety at Work
Ulaanbaatar, April 27 (MONTSAME) The Ministry of Labor launched a “Labor Sector – Seven Days” event which was inaugurated Friday on the central square of the capital city, the Oyu Tolgoi LLC’s website reported.
The event is being held as part of the month-long campaign on labor safety and health. Some 50 business entities and government agencies took part in the event, including also OT where safety is a core value.
Head of the Labor Relations Regulatory Department at the Labor Ministry B. Alimaa said: “April 28 has been declared the World Day for Safety and Health at Work by the International Labor Organization. This is the third year the Labor Ministry is celebrating the World Day launching a nation-wide labor safety and health campaign. We are happy to see that the mining, road and construction companies, where labor safety hazards are higher than other sectors, are taking an active part in the campaign. Oyu Tolgoi’s presentation today on safety procedures and compliance has drawn a keen interest. Safety is most important for everyone which ever sector they work in. Therefore, we must take care not only of our safety but also the health and safety of people around us,”


Rural Youth Leadership Program Concludes
April 19 (mongolia.usembassy.org) Mongolia’s 2013 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund project, “Empowering Rural Mongolia”, also known as Rural Young Leadership Program, concluded on April 19 after providing two-weeks of intensive leadership and professional development training to 18 young fellows from 14 provinces of Mongolia. The participants represent a variety of sectors including private business, local and international NGOs, the hospitality industry, civil service, medicine / health care, and social work. 
Empowering Rural Mongolia exposed young and active professionals from rural provinces to current hot topics and gave them an opportunity to meet and talk with the most fore-thinking civic, government and business leaders and activists in Mongolia.


USAID Partners with World Vision to Reduce the Impact of Disasters on People in Western Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar, April 25, 2014 (mongolia.usembassy.org) – USAID will partner with World Vision Mongolia to reduce the impact of natural disasters on people in Western Mongolia. The target areas for this project are Bayan Ulgii; Khovd and Uvs - the three western-most aimags (provinces) in Mongolia.
The target areas are at heightened risk of disaster due to their isolation, the absence of infrastructure, and their distance from major urban areas. The centers of each of these provinces are more than 1,400 km from Ulaanbaatar. There are no railways and most roads consist of dirt tracks across the desert or steppe.
The nation regularly experiences various types of disasters, including dzud, flooding, earthquake, fire, and wind-, snow-, and dust storms.
The Western Mongolia Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) project has been developed to support the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), provincial emergency management staff and communities to more effectively assess risks and to develop appropriate preparation and response plans.
The project will also help to strengthen government DRR policies and resources to support remote aimags and to prepare people for key disasters. World Vision will also work with the Ministry of Education and Science on the development of educational materials on disaster preparedness and to develop a standard DRR curriculum for households and schools.
Funding for this 12-month project totals $275,000 USD with World Vision Mongolia contributing $25,000.


Chess players at Asian Championships
Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) Mongolian chess players of the national selected teams are taking part in the 13th Asian Continental Individual Open and Women's Chess Championships running in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In the men’s tournament, a Grand Master Ts.Batchuluun has got 4.5 points after seven games, being ranked 11th place; B.Gundavaa--4 points and is being ranked 23rd place; and G.Monkhal--3 points and is being ranked 47th place so far. Chess players from China and Uzbekistan are leading the men’s contest, with 5.5 points each.
An international master and woman grandmaster B.Mongontuul is being placed at 13 with four points; and another woman B.Anu--at 23rd place with three points in the women’s tournament where an Indonesian player is leading.
The top five from the 2014 Asian Open Championship will qualify for the 2015 World Cup, whereas the 2014 Asian Women’s champion qualifies for the 2015 Women’s World Championship.


Mongolians to participate in World Amateur Chess Championship
Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) Chess players of Mongolia have left for Singapore to take part in the 2014 World Amateur Chess Championship that will start on Saturday in Singapore.
The men’s team has comprised E.Baasansuren, a FIDE master; B.Nyamdavaa, a sports master; vice masters A.Bayarsaikhan, Sh.Batbileg, Kh.Bayarkhuu, B.Ariunbold, U.Agibileg, G.Monkhbayar, Ts.Bat-Erdene, B.Irmuuntulga and B.Batsuld. The women’s team included a sports master O.Nyamtuya; vice masters U.Uuriintuya and B,Ganchimeg. They coached by a Grand Master D.Sharavdorj; and a FIDE master U.Nasanjargal.
Co-organized by the Singapore Chess Federation and the World Chess Federation (FIDE), the World Amateur Chess Championships is held in Singapore April 25 to May 4th. The championships is governed by the General Regulations for FIDE Competitions (approved in 2011) and the Rules of the FIDE World Amateur Championships (approved in 2011).


Taekwon-do fighters win medals in Asian Championship
Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) Athletes of the national selected team for taekwondo grabbed medals in the 7th Asian Taekwon-do Championship took place on April 18-23 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Coached by an international master of sports B.Monkh-Orgil, the Mongolian team won two gold, 10 silver and seven bronze medals, and was ranked fourth place among 20 teams.


T.Batchimeg placed 12th at Grand Prix
Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) Mongolia’s T.Batchimeg finished 12th in the fourth tournament of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix 2013-2014 that took in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia on April 7-22.
Hou Yifan of China led the tournament with 8.5 points, and was followed by Olga Girya and Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia. Twelve players competed in the round robin tournament. The event was organized by the Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug, FIDE, Russian Chess Federation and Ugra Chess Academy.
The Women’s Grand-Prix 2013-2014 gives qualification to the Women’s World Championship match 2015. The previous three tournaments were held in Geneva, Dilijan and Tashkent.


Political interest to remove Justice Minister Kh.Temuujin
April 27 (business-mongolia.com) Since the establishment of the new government, the Government for Change, one of the most active ministry was the Justice Ministry and its Minister, MP Kh.Temuujin. He was infamous of getting into debate and quarrels with former Minister of Justice Ts.Nyamdorj in the previous parliamentary period. It is believed that main dispute between two are more fundamental than simple difference of party membership. Kh.Temuujin is a Democratic party member and Ts.Nyamdorj is a member of People’s Party or “ex-communist” party.
After his appointment as a Minister of Justice in 2012, he had the full-backing of President, Prime Minister and the Speaker of SGK to implement the reform in legal structures of Criminal law and other related laws. He viewed that the previous law is outdated, harsh and limits a court process in terms of defendant and advocates. He also argued that too much formal and informal force was given into hands of police chiefs and prosecutor’s offices making them vulnerable on taking bribes and using their power to prosecute, accuse anyone and put in prison without trial. He ambitiously started executing the reform plan. His plan also included re-organizing of police force in the country.
The new re-organization process involved re-appointing number of position which included the Chief of National Police Agency B.Bilegt. However, he wasn’t officially re-appointment until today which is for about 5 months. It fuelled the resentment against the re-organization of the police force in the country. From last month, news was spreading over the news that Kh.Temuujin had an “affair” with a lady and the lady was in prison due to use of drugs. It has also been said that his decision to re-locate the building of a newly built military hospital caused a damage of an expensive medical equipment. The Legal Standing Committee convened 2 days ago to vote out Kh.Temuujin as a Minister of Justice. It was rumoured on the local press that the criminal evidences have been presented in the meeting.
A day ago, President of Mongolia expressed his concern on stability of the current reform process and insisted that he should not resign. He praised him of having his own stance and independent views and he promised that he will not give up on the reform process. Kh.Temuujin expressed his views on the current matter on Twitter saying that “Legal sector reform has become a fight against political interests and groups, white collar criminals that robbed banks, and law officers that are involved with criminals. If they think that they can privatize the legal sector just like they did with the state property, political parties, and ministries – I say NO to them. I am not going to resign as your wish. I will stand against despite your accusations and insults. If you want, reveal yourselves in public and push your buttons”. A Facebook page was created supporting Kh.Temuujin titled “We are with Temuujin” yesterday and as of today it has over 5000 likes.
After the Standing Committee’s decision, State Great Khural will decide on whether remove Kh.Temuujin from Minister post or not by a majority vote.


New push from Turks
April 27 (UB Post) In terms of development and livelihood, Turkey is the odd one out in a region of war-shaken nations. Turkey has a population of 76 million and a territory as big as half of Mongolia. In 2013, Turkey had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 830 billion USD, which ranked them 15th in the world and 7th in Europe. It meant the GDP per capita was 12,000 USD.
In the same year, Turkey’s total exports equaled 164 billion USD while their imports were 242 billion USD, which resulted in a trade deficit of 80 billion USD. Having a median age of 28, Turkey is regarded as the youngest nation in Europe. A survey reported that one fourth of Turkey’s total population live in urban areas, a half is connected to the internet, and 65 million people use mobile phones while 47.4 million have credit cards.
Turkey experienced an economic growth of five percent on average in the last ten years. The government of Turkey had an external debt as low as 42 percent of GDP, which is the third lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in Europe after Sweden and the Czech Republic. Turkey is the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts, apricots, and dried figs. Also Turkey is the second largest producer of float glass, the fifth largest in gold and silver products, and the eighth largest in shipbuilding. Furthermore, Turkey comes in third on TV exports and leads Europe through cement exports as well as production of textile and fertilizers. It is also the third biggest steel producer in Europe. Turkey is also listed as one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the world and welcomed a total of 36 million tourists in 2013.
Turkey boasts astonishing infrastructure such as the Istanbul Metro that connects Asia and Europe, Antalya’s airports and sea resorts that have become a large tourist attraction, highways connecting Ankara with other cities, vast network of electric power distribution, and their impressive waste management system. Turkey’s construction and engineering companies have been taking part in building many cities worldwide and are implementing almost all of the large-scale construction projects in the Near East and Africa.
HOW DID TURKEY ACHIEVE THIS SUCCESS?
Let us have a closer look at the main factors of Turkey’s rapid socio-economic growth, which is also known as Ankara’s “economic miracle.”
Foreign/economic policy: Turgut Ozal, who received education in the United States, was Prime Minister of Turkey and later became President of Turkey. In the 1980s, he developed and started a policy aimed at economic liberalization, privatization of state enterprises, free competition in the market, international competitiveness, and investment in education. This policy commenced by Ozal was reinforced by Turkey’s current Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, who took office in 2003 after a short-term crisis in domestic politics as well as banking sector. Prime Minister Erdogan, who is also the chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party, has carried out the gradual recovery of the banking sector and ensured regular investment in infrastructure, education, health, and technology.
Prime Minister Erdogan has conducted an economic policy to open up Turkey’s economy to the volatile region and has pursued a foreign policy aimed at making Turkey a bridge that connects Muslim countries, the United States, and Europe. Furthermore, he encouraged domestic businesses to make investments abroad and supported them in acquiring soft loans. A total income of 47 billion USD was generated by the privatization of state enterprises that were carried out from 2003 to 2010. Turkey has recently set a goal to become the regional leader in the competitiveness of industrial production and service sector.
The backbone of Turkey’s economy is its small and medium enterprises. The hard work and steady effort of the Turkish people have helped their products and services produced domestically to gain competitiveness on international market and attract foreign investment into almost all sectors of the economy.
Education policy: Turkey’s universities and colleges are attracting an increased number of students from Asia and Africa. Turkish high schools have been successfully set up in more than 160 countries in the world and are graduating students who are fluent in both English and Turkish languages. Many of those students come to Turkey in order to pursue higher education. A total of 1,500 Mongolian students are currently attending schools in Turkey while approximately 3,300 Mongolians graduated from Turkish universities in the last ten years. Many companies from knowledge-based industries such as robotics, avionics, information technology, and advanced electronics trace their roots back to universities and colleges in Turkey.
The Turkish government has recognized the need to improve the quality and availability of education at all levels, and increase the enrollment of female students. Therefore, the government has currently started several initiatives to continue educational reform, increase investment in education, and broaden the use of technology in delivering courses.
Although the Turkish government is currently spending 4.5 percent of GDP on public education, a socialist party is demanding to increase the education expenditures to six percent of GDP. Recently, there have been serious discussions on whether to close down university-preparatory schools in Turkey.
Innovation policy: Following the trends of Japan and South Korea, both of which are similar to Turkey in terms of lack of mineral wealth, Turkey has been pursuing a policy to make the best use of its geographical location, solar and wind power, and geothermal resources. Turkey has also been successful in attracting foreign investment in employing sustainable technology, developing tourism, constructing greenhouses, and building pipeline transport of oil and natural gas.
Turkey is building greenhouses throughout the country to grow all types of vegetables all year round, and is preparing to break into not only regional but also global market. Due to new developments in medical and sports tourism, Turkey’s hotels are fully booked at all time of the year regardless of tourism season. The entire Europe is attracted to their high quality medical services including diagnosis, rehabilitation, and oral and maxillofacial surgeries. Turkey has built all kinds of sports facilities, resorts, and hotels with quality service and competitive prices that attract professional athletes around the world. After coming back to their home country, Turks who used to live in other European countries, especially their children, are contributing greatly to creating a knowledge economy by making an efficient use of their education, knowledge, and know-how.
UNCERTAINTY
Uncertainty is found both externally and internally, that will affect Turkey’s process of development. The regional instability, including the situations in the Eurozone, Near East, Syria and Iran, will produce a significant impact on Turkey’s tourism industry. Also, a minimal fluctuation in oil prices would affect Turkey’s economy. However, Turkey has already acquired the skills and experience that will help them manage all those risks.
There is still enormous media attention on Turkey’s political party that has had the ruling power for ten years and led the country to rapid development and Recep Erdogan, their chairman and Prime Minister. Four cabinet members have resigned after being accused of corruption. There was also a widespread accusation on social media that Prime Minister Erdogan has overexerted his power. Twitter and YouTube were banned in Turkey for several months, which have been strongly opposed by the people, especially the younger generation.
In August, Turkey will have its first ever presidential elections to elect the president through direct popular vote. Many Turkish people are wary of the potential move by their Prime Minister to run in the presidential elections and obtain the powers of the Prime Minister and President at the same time. They think that such move could result in the dominance of single figure inside the country and slow down Turkey’s process of joining the European Union.
In any case, Turkey and its hard-working people have built strong foundations for flourishing development and are looking forward to the future with great faith.
Translated by B.AMAR


D.Battsogt: ‘Justice’ Coalition was pressured into taking a break in accordance with the ‘Double Deel’ Law
April 27 (UB Post) The following is an interview with MP D.Battsogt who has announced his withdrawal from the “Justice” Coalition of MPRP and MNDP in Parliament.
What are your reasons for withdrawing from the “Justice” Coalition in Parliament?
Until I made my decision to withdraw, I honored the decisions of the “Justice” Coalition of MPRP and MNDP, established after the 2012 Parliamentary Elections. As decisions are made by the majority of votes after openly discussing issues, submitting to principles is a matter of legitimacy. I will not hide the fact that there were disagreements between members’ views and opinions and times when people were judgmental to ministers, who are working in the government in accordance to the quotas of the coalition, and the House of Altankhuyag. Since the “Justice” Coalition was established with the DP, I worked with the thoughts to make the work of this government as stable as possible and to see the results. It became difficult to reconcile with some unjust decisions and so, I have decided to withdraw.
Is your decision connected to the Strategic Partnership Agreement to be established between DP and MPRP?
I guess there’s no need to hide. There were disagreements in the coalition while discussing the draft of the “Double Deel” law. The President submitted this draft law currently implemented by Parliament. Since the first discussion session, our coalition members came to an agreement to strip ministers of their positions. We were firm on this decision and DP in Parliament took a break in accordance with the law. This lasted for more than 60 days from the end of the Autumn Session until the opening of the Spring Session of Parliament. As the Spring Session began, the break of the DP ended and the “Justice” Coalition took a break. Our coalition received pressure to take a break in accordance with this law. It’s alright to take a break once for a coalition who is working together in the ruling the government in respect of each other’s influence. However, as soon as the break ended, the coalition was requested to take another three-day break. I understood this as a request made by the government and the Prime Minister. Even ministers working in the government and with MPRP started to pressure us and under no other circumstances, we agreed.
There are many issues that need to be discussed by Parliament starting from the measurements that need to be taken to overcome economic difficulties and issues. There’s no need to give repeated breaks, force the society into confusion and halt Parliament with a law that’s already become clear. I shared this point of view to the coalition and handed in my letter of resignation to withdraw due to our collision of views.
Is the Democratic Party pressuring the “Justice” coalition in Parliament to take a break in accordance with the “Double Deel” draft law connected with the agreement to be established between DP and MPRP which was publicized by the media?
The initial agreement of the members of the “Justice” Coalition to strip ministers of their positions changed at the beginning of the Spring Session into supporting the coalition’s views. Only members working in the government disagreed. A talk to summarize and unite ideas and views of the coalition members started. Even the head of the coalition said that we would work well together. There were always disagreements. They shouldn’t be giving such influence to MPs who have sworn to make decisions based on their own convictions, honor the interests of the citizens and work righteously. Hence, I told them that I can’t work with them and would withdraw from the coalition. I got the withdrawal officially approved.
Before the Strategy Partnership Agreement between the two parties was publicized by the media, I received a notification that a session with this topic was to be held. I didn’t believe it at first.
Seeing that the agreement was done separately from MNDP which is co-ruling the government, was it necessary to be a secret from you?
Probably. In any case, drafts rumored several days earlier have found their way onto paper and are being transferred into bills.
Although ministers aren’t expressing their thoughts about the “Double Deel” law, they are searching for ways to keep their position. DP is threatening to dismiss MPs who support the draft law, to begin implementation from July 1, 2014. Did the coalition receive this sort of pressure?
I’m thankful to DP members who supported the “Double Deel” draft law for conveying their convictions. Disregarding MP’s convictions and thoughts, accusing them of betrayal and threatening to dismiss them is a controversial issue. Parliaments of generations of the last 20 years had defined that it’s wrong to be working as both an MP and a member of the government but weren’t successful in resolving it. The President brought it up and submitted this matter which became an expectation of the citizens and a demand of the society. Currently, Parliament is discussing it. If Parliament is the organization that approves the law, they should first show a good example themselves.
If they truly see the law as a violation of the Constitutional Law, they can get the Constitutional Court to make the decision.
Instead of establishing a secret contract and obstructing the law in Parliament to find ways to save the government, couldn’t the members of the government and DP just have gone to the Constitutional Court saying that the law submitted by the President is in violation of the Constitutional law?
Supporting and approving this law doesn’t mean that we want to have ministers humiliated and dismissed. If they truly have worked diligently to help the economy and if it brought prosperity, they can defend themselves. However, the state economy is in crisis with the MNT exchange rate decreasing by 30 percent and now, the citizens don’t have any money. While the situation is worsening, ministers shouldn’t be defending themselves. It’s not wrong to invoke responsibility with ministers who didn’t work efficiently. Keeping the wrong things in the name of keeping the government stable doesn’t bring good results.
A year ago when someone held up a minister to dismiss, I used to tell them that we should have him working instead. At the time, the results of their works hadn’t been shown. Now it’s different. The deadline for results has expired. Now, we can only state unprogressive matters honestly.
It’s a fact that MPs influence and get influenced by one another in actions to resign from the government. Furthermore, there are suspicions that MPs are bribed during draft law discussions and get money for supporting particular laws. Is it true?
I don’t know. I’ve never received money from anyone when laws were approved. I can’t deny that there are MPs with all sorts of interests. Among MPs, there are many wanting to make decisions for the sake of the country and its development. There are also those who serve fractions or groups and distort decisions for their benefits. I don’t think MPs get money to approve laws. Overall, we have come to a time when we need to think about the reputation of MPs and this institution named Parliament.
As soon as your withdrawal from the “Justice” Coalition was announced, news of you entering DP or MPP was spread. Did you choose the party you’re entering or did you get proposals from these parties?
I only announced that I withdrew from the “Justice” Coalition, not from MNDP. Some media reports wrote that I am following the “Shonkhor” fraction, entering DP, or I am to enter MPP following after S.Byambatsogt etc. Somebody is spreading these rumors because they’ll gain something from it. Truthfully, I haven’t even thought about entering a party. Some friends have told me to enter their party as a joke. I didn’t interpret it as an official invitation.
If DP or MPP asked you to leave your party and enter theirs, what choice would you make?
I’m thinking of becoming a free MP who makes decisions independently, supporting the issues I want to support and disagreeing with those I disagree with.
How did the Head of the “Justice” Coalition and the Party Chairman receive your decision to withdraw from the coalition?
After I made my decision, I didn’t meet the Party Chairman. So I don’t know his thoughts. Before I officially handed in my letter of resignation, the head of the coalition seemed to have thought that I was approaching the matter emotionally. Since I handed in my resignation, we haven’t met.
From an MP who withdrew from the coalition, will you be asked to give up your position as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Policy? Are you prepared?
I heard that the members of MPRP talked about taking away my position as the Chairman of the Standing Committee. When the coalition was established, the MPRP and MNDP agreed that the two will manage the two Standing Committees of Parliament; therefore, this issue will be decided by MNDP. If they ask me to give up my position as the Chairman of the Standing Committee, I have no reason to decline. I will give up my work.


Mongolia marks Generals’ Day
April 27 (UB Post) Today, April 28, marks Generals’ Day in Mongolia, a day dedicated to the rank of General. General is the highest title in the Mongolian military forces and only 160 military officials were granted the title over the past 70 years.
The first people to officially become generals in Mongolian history, on April 28, 1944, in were former Prime Minister Yu.Tsedenbal and former Minister of Defense J.Lkhagvasuren who were both prominent and respected politicians.
Each year, organizations where honored Generals used to work host the events for the Generals’ Day celebration to pay their respect.
The title of General is granted to the high ranking military officials who have claimed notable and gallant achievements and devoted their lives to the freedom and independence of Mongolia.
Becoming a General is the result of very demanding and challenging years of service in the military, so that only 160 people have earned the title in the whole of Mongolian history so far.
The Minister of Defense D.Bat-Erdene congratulated the Generals for the occasion and made a speech saying: “The people of Mongolia are grateful for all the Generals who served in the Khalkh River war in 1939, and during the war times in the 1940s, as well as during the times of peace that followed.
Without the wisdom, tactics and management of Generals, soldiers, polices and border guards couldn’t have completed their duties fully in both times of war and peace.”
The President of Mongolia will meet the Generals of different generations today at the Government Palace and pay his respects to them.


Database on living standards presented to Government
April 27 (UB Post) The Minister for Population Development and Social Protection S.Erdene introduced the results of a study conducted to determine the living standards of households to the members of the Government. S.Erdene gave the responsibility to the relevant ministers to use the data collected in the result in developing policies.
The survey was conducted in November and December of 2013 and covered 86 percent of Mongolian households. The data of 714 thousand households were arranged by the living standards and were added to a joint database of households.
Other non-governmental organizations are also able to use the database in relevant services.
Presently, the Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection is working to deliver services to 87 thousand citizens of 15,131 households, who are in urgent demand of social welfare support assistance and food allowance.
This database can be used for implementing any state activities related to population, in correctly choosing appropriate citizens and target households who are in need of state services and assistance, and for introducing and implementing new types of service.
With the completion of the survey, the conditions have been created to strengthen cooperation and the connections of state organizations, which will deliver state services to citizens speedily, sufficiently and rationally.


B.Munkhbaatar wins Baldorj Cup for the fourth time
April 27 (UB Post) The seventh “Baldorj Cup” golf tournament was held on Saturday at the Ulaanbaatar 2 Hotel golf course in Terelj.
The tournament was opened by Ch.Ganbold, President of the Mongolian Golf Association and member of the former band Ineemseglel. He commented that, “We tried very hard to organize this tournament, which precedes all other golf tournaments in the year, to be better each year. Due to generous rain this year, the course and field have been well pruned. Today, 42 golfers have come to test their skill and talent at this competition. I wish you all success.”
The Baldorj Cup is named after Ts.Baldorj, a great lover of golf, the founder of Mongol News Group, owner of the UB Post, Unuudur daily newspaper, Tavan Tsagirag sports newspaper, Nyam Garig (Sunday) magazine and 25 TV. It is organized annually in spring by the Ts.Baldorj Fund, Mongolian Golf Association, and Zaan Terelj golf club.
The men’s tournament was won by B.Munkhbaatar and the women’s by A.Enerel. The men’s handicap category was won by B.Nemekhbaatar, followed by Tsogtoo and Ch.Ganbold.
After the tournament, the coach of the winning team, Tuul River Country gold club, B.Munkhbaatar said, “I have participated in this tournament for seven years. This is my fourth time winning the cup. Golf is a sport that one cannot not love. This is a sport that requires self discipline and develops one’s competitiveness with oneself.”
Although golf has been around in Mongolia for around ten years, many Mongolians who studied, worked and lived abroad have come to love and practice the sport for more than a decade. Most notable among the contestants was an over sixty year-old man named Dorj, who is reported to have played the sport before any other in Mongolia.
Dorj is said to love the sport so much that during summer, he hardly ever comes home but plays golf in the countryside in various tournaments, and in winter, he travels to Vietnam with fellow golfers to strike the ball.
At the end of the tournament, while everyone else packed to leave after the five-hour long tournament, Dorj was seen with a small group of golfers and his caddy to play one more game before the sun set.


Ministry to oversee development of Asgat silver mine
April 27 (UB Post) During last week’s regular cabinet meeting, the Ministry of Mining was made responsible for the development of the Asgat silver mine.
Minister of Mining D.Gankhuyag was instructed to oversee the pre-feasibility studies at the mine and provide evaluations, professional and technical support, and make related contracts.
The State Property Committee instructed Mongolrostsvetmet Ltd, which operated the mine, to provide the evaluations and assessments of all previous studies and research at the mine.
According to a letter addressed to the Ministry of Mining from Mongolrostsetmet, Asgat mine doesn’t have enough cash reserves to put the mine back into circulation. The letter explained that in the second quarter of 2013, the mine stopped mining crystals as their main buyers in Russia stopped purchasing, China’s transportation costs and tax rates have increased, gold deposits at the mine were depleted, and some of the deposits were restricted under law as they are located in state protected areas.
Therefore the company said that it has no available financing for analysis of samples, and feasibility studies, and requested that a government group be appointed to oversee the matters.
In 2007, the Mongolian Parliament included Asgat silver mine as a strategically significant mines.
Since the mine’s geological and exploration work was conducted through state funding, the state is entitled to up to 50 percent of the mine in accordance with the Law on Mineral Resource.
Related ministries and government organizations agreed at the meeting that the development of Asgat silver mine will “help Mongolia overcome its current difficult economic hardships” and provide a new export commodity type, which in turn will help improve Mongolia’s foreign currency reserve.
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