Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mongolia Brief May 14, 2014



Working Group Officials Hear Views from Parties without Seats
Ulaanbaatar, May 14 (MONTSAME) A working group chaired by a Vice Speaker L.Tsog Tuesday received authorities of political parties without seats at parliament.

This working group has been set up at the Standing committee on state structure with a responsibility for studying a matter on whether the Constitution of Mongolia should be amended or not.
The Vice Speaker said the working group received the parties’ leaders in order to hear opinions and positions over the issue, and added that the working group has met eight times so far. “As of today, we have managed to agree with a necessity to amend the current Constitution. A group of scholars and researchers has put forward some 10 proposals in last four months,” he said.
In turn, the parties’ leaders clarified a matter on possibility to hold referendum on the Constitution should be altered. They also reached an agreement with the working group with a necessary to amend the law on referendum, which was adopted in 1995.
Present at the meeting were O.Bum-Yalalt, chairman of the Mongolian Green Party; B.Jargalsaikhan, chairman of the Republican Party of Mongolia; L.Onorbayar, the secretary-general of the Mongolian Conservative United Party; D.Enkhzaya, the secretary-general of the Mongolian Social Democratic Party; and J.Zanaa, a deputy chairwoman of the Civil Movement Party.


ADB, Japan Prepare Project to Address Ulaanbaatar's Power Shortcomings
May 14 (ADB) MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Under a $2 million technical assistance grant project, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan will study the electricity transmission and distribution constraints faced by Ulaanbaatar in preparation for a major power project that would help 1.2 million people.
The grant comes from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, provided by the Government of Japan and administered by ADB.
The technical assistance project will look into the technological, economic, financial, social, institutional, and environmental challenges facing the Mongolian capital’s power delivery.
“Mongolia has seen a surge in growth in recent years, accompanied by growing demands for electricity,” said Teruhisa Oi, Senior Energy Specialist. “Much of this demand is not being met due the unavailability of new power plants. The capital needs not only new plants to supply power, but also to strengthen existing networks to bring to the population a reliable, affordable, and cleaner source of energy.”
The capital’s existing power network is old and outdated—its inefficiency and unreliability causing electricity distribution losses totaling 19.6% in 2012, almost four times higher than international best practice of 5%. Meanwhile, customers faced an average of 13 power interruptions during 2012 totaling 2,084.5 minutes.
The planned electricity and transmission project would improve the reliability and quality of electricity services for 1.2 million people, or about 40% of Mongolia’s population. It would upgrade the electricity transmission and distribution networks in and around Ulaanbaatar to boost energy efficiency, reduce transmission and distribution losses, and cut back greenhouse gas and air pollutants from existing power plants. It would also develop a new heat and power plant through a public-private partnership supported by ADB.
In addition to investments, the project would strengthen the capacity of Energy Regulatory Commission, which issues licenses to power plants and proposes customer tariffs.
The total cost of the technical assistance, which will be carried out over two years, is about $2.2 million, of which $200,000 will be met by the Mongolian government in the form of logistical and staff help.


Government backs petition to dismiss Agriculture Minister
May 14 (news.mn) The Government of Mongolia has submitted a petition to dismiss MP and Minister of Agriculture and Industry, Kh.Battulga, from his duty as Minister to Parliament.
The Minister`s resignation request will be discussed during the Standing Committee meetings on environment, food and agriculture, and economy at 2.00 pm today.
The issue whether or not to dismiss the Minister of Agriculture from his post will be a priority during the meeting.
By submitting the request, the Government has given approval of the resignation request by Agriculture Minister Kh.Battulga before the standing committee meeting.


Former chairman of Petroleum Authority dies in detention center 
May 14 (news.mn) The former Chairman of the Petroleum Authority, D.Amarsaikhan, who was being detained at the 461 detention center, died on Tuesday May 14th. The former Chairman, D.Amarsaikhan had an epileptic seizure while he was meeting his attorney at around 5.00 pm on Tuesday.
Some sources are reporting that he had pains in his head over recent days. The detention center medical specialists administered first aid to D.Amarsaikhan, however they could not recover him.
Former chairman of the Petroleum Authority, D.Amarsaikhan, was detained as a suspect of money laundering in conspiracy with Petro China Daqing Tamsag.


American Student Cleans up UB City Road
May 14 (infomongolia.com) A student from American "Bates" College majored in biological and environmental research study, Ms. Jesse Berka is decided to conduct her practical works in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
American university and college students involved in a "World Learning" program are allowed to engage with public agencies, elected officials, NGOs, and grassroots groups in more than 60 countries within three months of living, studying their culture, language, customs, and practices as well as get acquainted within his/her field of study and research work to accomplish.
As part of this exchange program, Jesse Berka is studying Ulaanbaatar environment pollution, pressing issues of cleaning of roads, in particular how civilians evaluate “yellow vest” or public cleaners’ labor and what types of waste are dominated on the city roads as well as the role of local government in formulating development policies.
She has been authorized by Ulaanbaatar City Public Service Community and will be studying and cleaning streets along with Mongolian “yellow vests” for the period of two weeks between 07:00 am and 05:30 pm.



Registration for Fifth International Ulaanbaatar Marathon Ongoing until June 06, 2014
May 14 (infomongolia.com) The Fifth International Ulaanbaatar Marathon announced on June 07, 2014 has been organized by the Department of Physical Culture and Sports of Ulaanbaatar city dedicated to the 375th anniversary of the Mongolian capital city of Ulaanbaatar observing this year.
The event is co-organized by many organizations and communities such as Capital City Department of Education, Mongolian Athletic Association, "Ar Mongol Travel" Group and Mongolian Youth Federation, where the registration for participants has been conducting from April 20 to June 06, 2014.
Attendees will be divided in two groups as marathon runners for full and half distances, and nonprofessionals will be competing for four distances as below. 
- 42 km 195 m (among marathon runners)
- 21 km 975 m (among marathon runners)
- 8,000 m (among only male and female nonprofessionals)
- 5,000 m (among only male and female nonprofessionals)
- 4,000 m (under 17 years old of age, among only male and female nonprofessionals)
- 4,000 m (over 50 years old of age, among only male and female nonprofessionals)
The Full marathon (42,195 m) competition will be organized among marathon runners aged over 18 years old.
Moreover, organizers said the registration fee for any distances is various, where domestic participants for 42,195, 21,095 and 8,000 meters will be paying 15,000 MNT (Tugrug), and for 5,000 and 4,000 m is 2,000 MNT respectively.
As for foreign participants, the registration fee is shown as below as first come, first served:
Entry fee for participants in the marathon for 42,195 m distance
- From May 01 to May 20 - 80 USD
- From May 21 to June 01 - 100 USD
- From June 02 to June 05 - 120 USD
Entry fee for participants in the marathon for 21,975 m distance
- From May 01 to May 20 - 50 USD
- From May 21 to June 01 - 60 USD
- From June 02 to June 05 - 80 USD
Entry fee for runners of 8 km - 35 USD
Entry fee for runners of 4 km and 5 km - 10 USD
Confirming registration of runners who paid fee, pectoral number, t-shirt, napkin, introduction and race routine will be issued.
Pectoral numbers will be issued to only those runners, who paid fee and the runners, who do not take the number, will not be held at a finishing line and their success will not be considered. Also medical service and aid will not be taken.
In addition, the registration process is ongoing at above mentioned organizers’ facilities and those who cannot come in person may register on-line at www.sport.ub.gov.mn.


Honorary Consuls of New Zealand and Republic of Estonia to Mongolia Received Their Exequaturs
May 14 (infomongolia.com) On May 13, 2014, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs D.Gankhuyag received in his office the newly appointed Honorary Consuls of New Zealand and the Republic of Estonia to Mongolia.
During the meeting, Deputy Minister D.Gankhuyag handed over the exequaturs to Honorary Consul of New Zealand to Mongolia Mr. Ch.Munkhbat and Honorary Consul of Estonia to Mongolia Ms. L.Khulan and wished the envoys to their endeavor to broaden bilateral relations in political, economic, cultural and humanitarian sectors’ development between the countries.
At the official documents handing ceremony, Head of Consular Department at the Ministry Sh.Sukhbaatar was present.
Mongolia and New Zealand have established the diplomatic relations on April 08, 1975.
Mongolia and the Republic of Estonia have established the diplomatic relations on November 20, 1991.
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Deputy PM Submits Draft New Wording of Law Parliament
Ulaanbaatar, May 14 (MONTSAME) The Deputy Prime Minister D.Terbishdagva Tuesday submitted to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold a draft new wording of the law on fire safety.
Adopted by parliament in 1999, the law on fire safety provided needs of that time, but it has gone out of date today due to many factors such as global climate change, a socio-economic development of the country, urbanization, population density and intensive development of constructions, industries, mining and technologies, the draft initiator said.
In addition, the law is required to be amended because the risk of fires has been increasing year to year, for example, objective fires occurred 9,105 times in last three years, causing financial loss of MNT 18.7 billion. 224 people died and 155 people have injured due to the fires, the Deputy Premier said. He added that the draft new wording aims to upgrade a legal environment for fire safety of people and organizations and to intensify measures for preventing fires.  


Tourism Regions to Be Connected with Paved-Roads
Ulaanbaatar, May 14 (MONTSAME) As of today, Mongolia has total road network size of both paved and unpaved with length 49,350 km, and 4,690 km of roads are paved.
A depart head of the Ministry of Road and Transportation N.Batsuuri told MONTSAME reporter.
The country is paying big attention to improving the auto-road network as a priority. The government of Mongolia has set the goal to construct 5,572 km of roads in frames of the “New great construction” middle-term programme. For the time being, the cabinet intends to build about 3,700 km of roads, of which over 1,800 km of roads will be constructed this year with capital from the state budget and foreign investments. In addition, 2,970 km roads will be built on a concession basis, he said.
Within this work, the cabinet is focusing on developing roads for the tourism sector. For instance, a paved-road in a route Khovsgol-Khatgal-Khankh going to Khovsgol Lake will be put into use this year. Moreover, a project is being formulated for an auto-road from Khankh to the state border. Construction works have been launched for roads to run Khujirt, Ulaantsutgalan waterfall, Tovkhon monastery and other natural beautiful landscapes.
In 2015 Mongolia will take part in the ITB Berlin international exhibition as an official partner. This is a big chance to forward its tourism policy for Mongolia that has many natural beautiful places, he emphasized.


Minister Explains Reasons of Resignation Request
Ulaanbaatar, May 14 (MONTSAME) A joint meeting of two standing committees is continuing in the State Residence with a discussion on a resignation request of Industry and Agriculture Minister Kh.Battulga. A week ago, the Minister applied to the Cabinet with a resignation request from his current office of the Industry and Agriculture Minister.
At the beginning of the meeting, Cabinet Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg introduced a relevant draft resolution of the Cabinet to present thirty members of the parliamentary standing committee on environment, food and agriculture and the parliamentary standing committee on economy.
At the meeting, responding to a question of J.Enkhbayar MP, the Industry and Agriculture Minister explained reasons of his resignation request linking to recent disapproval of proposed amendments to the law on Cabinet at the final voting in parliament. The amendments intended to eliminate dual mandates of ministers and parliament members.


S.Ganbaatar MP Receives EITI Delegation
Ulaanbaatar, May 14 (MONTSAME) A member of parliament S.Ganbaatar Tuesday received a delegation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) including Wouter Biesterbos, an EITI director for Asia Affairs; and Anders Tunold Kråkenes, a director of the organization for communication affairs.
Expressing thanks to the parliamentarian for an audience, Mr Biesterbos said the EITI Secretariat’s delegation is visiting Mongolia in order to get au fait with the Mongolia’s Office of the EITI.
In response, Mr Ganbaatar said Mongolia wants to learn international standards and experience in transparency of extractive industries and to develop cooperation with the EITI. He noted that Mongolia intends to work out a draft law on regulation of conflicts in the mining.
At the end of the meeting, Mr Biesterbos expressed a willingness to make a presentation to Mongolian parliamentarians about functions of the EITI.    


Province to Cooperate with Montana State University
Ulaanbaatar, May 14 (MONTSAME) Starting from this year, Khovsgol province and the Montana State University of the USA will run student exchange program in frames of the cooperation.
Last week, delegates of International studies' department of the University worked in the province and they agreed to involve local three students in three-week exchange program at the University during the meeting with administration of the province.
The sides spoke also about ways of cooperation in tourism sphere.
Montana State University (MSU) is a public university located in Bozeman , Montana , United States . It is the state's land-grant university and primary campus in the Montana State University System, which is part of the Montana University System. MSU offers baccalaureate degrees in 51 fields, master's degrees in 41 fields, and doctoral degrees in 18 fields through its nine colleges.


Capital City to Have Own University
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Capital city Governor E.Bat-Uul visited on Wednesday the Ulaanbaatar University affiliated to the National University of Mongolia.
The university was founded as a technological institute in 1992, and became Ulaanbaatar University in 1995. In 2010, the university became an affiliated university of the National University of Mongolia. Today, the university has three faculties of technology, social sciences and linguistics, and is attended by some two thousand students.
The university management earlier expressed a request to the municipal administration to become a capital city owned university. As a city-owned university, they are planning to focus on specialist preparation and training for municipal agencies and offices, and on conducting needed studies and programs for the capital city.
In early April, Capital city Mayor E.Bat-Uul has issued an ordinance to establish an Ulaanbaatar-owned university. The decision to set up a university named after the city follows a worldwide practice of metropolitan cities to have a university named after them.
There is S.Korea-invested ‘Ulaanbaatar’ university in the city. It is still unclear how to solve the name similarity in case the proposed capital city-owned Ulaanbaatar University is established.


Environment-Friendly Technologies to Be Introduced
Ulaanbaatar, May 14 (MONTSAME) An exhibition themed “Environment-friendly technique and technology-2014” is to be organized at the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry/MNCCI/ on May 15-17.
With an aim to support actions to turn “brown” economy into “green” and to carry out green development model, this event has been co-hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Green Development and the MNCCI.
As expected, this exhibition will introduce the latest hi-techs, advanced technologies and new innovations in fields of preventing environment pollution, decreasing nature degradation, improving effective use of water and energy, saving and putting control on use of water and energy, reusing waste water, recycling, cleaning and avoiding use of harmful materials.
During the measure, a discussion will be held under exhibition theme among the participants including researchers and scientists of research organizations, university students and business people.  


Local Hospital Gets Echocardiagraphy Apparatus
Ulaanbaatar, May 14 (MONTSAME) A western Bayan-Olgii province has acquired echocardiography apparatus in maternity ward of its united hospital.
This equipment has been supplied with an assistance of the UN Population Fund and specialists gave some lessons on how it works to local medical staffers.
Local hospital officials say, a number of birth has been increasing year to year so this is very important equipment specially for preventing from infants' mortality and making early diagnosis to pregnant women. 


Mongolian Representative Attends Buddha Day Celebration
Ulaanbaatar, May 14 (MONTSAME) Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations (UN) O.Och attended on May 13 the Buddha or Vesakha Day celebration at the UN  Headquarters, that took place pursuant to UN General Assembly Resolution.
The celebration event was addressed by Permanent Representative O.Och, who highlighted the importance of Buddha Day for Buddhists. Mongolians believe that every good deed done this day multiples, he said and added that Buddhist teachings preaching the respect for others and ethics would make a great contribution to the sustainable development of the society.
During the event, footage on how Buddha Day is celebrated in Mongolia was shown to the audience.


First Ever Wedding Exhibition to Be Held
Ulaanbaatar, May 14 (MONTSAME) For the first time, an exhibition fair for wedding is to open in the Best Western Premier “Tuushin” hotel, UB city on May 17-18.
This measure is expected to bring together all wedding services in one hall, including wedding planners, entertainment companies, car rent, photographers, bakeries and salons of wedding dress, suit, hairdressers and beauty.
During the event, the gathered will enjoy wedding dress and suit show.


Here to Be Staged ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Musical
Ulaanbaatar, May 14 (MONTSAME) A musical based on William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet will be staged on Wednesday in UB Palace.
The musical has been nominated for the Saint Muse festival awards in its musical category, together with Mongolian musicals roughly translated such as ‘Goolingoo’, ‘Child of King’, ‘Legend of Mongolian Chess’.
In the main two roles of lovers will be Ts.Monk-Od from ‘A Capella’ musical band (Romeo), and B.Otgonchimeg from Classic Gem (Juliet).
The musical will be a Mongolian staging of Roméo et Juliette: de la Haine à l'Amour, a French musical, with music and lyrics by Gerard Presgurvic. It premiered in Paris on January 19, 2001.
Since then, the musical has been performed in Verona, Rome, Canada, Antwerp, London, Amsterdam, Budapest, Szeged, Moscow, Vienna, Bucharest, Seoul, Pusan (South Korea), Taipei, Monterrey, Japan and Shanghai.
Differences from Shakespeare's plot include that the nature of the lovers' deaths is different, depending on the production. New characters such as Death (French, Belgian, Netherlands, and Moscow productions only) and the Poet (French production only) appear for dramatic effect. Lady Capulet has a greatly increased role and in the case of the Hungarian version, has an affair with her servant. The role of Tybalt has changed slightly from being purely dark to a more pitiful character because of his growing up with the hate and a dark childhood, as well as an unrequited attraction to Juliet.


Victims’ families hold strike for compensation
May 14 (news.mn) The families of victims of political repression; those who were imprisoned, executed or exiled for political reasons, held a sit-in strike at Chinggis Khaan Square between May 12th and 16th, demanding compensation for their fathers and grandfathers lives and reputation. They started the sit-in strike on Monday in front of the 11-11 center.
These citizens, mostly the elderly, are standing up for their repressed ancestors saying: “Amendments were made into the law on rehabilitation and compensation should be given to us according to what was passed in 1998. That`s why we are here. Since we first asked for a home and compensation, it has been 22 years. There is a law stating that the families of victims should be compensated with a home. But all families were not fairly compensated.
We have asked for the compensation for our father`s and grandfather’s loss of life, reputation and seized properties for decades. We are victims too.”
There are now less than 1000 people who are the children or grandchildren of those who were political oppressed in Mongolia.  They have asked the state to provide them with the correct compensation, homes, for many years. But there has been no reply.
The elderly people, in their 70s and 80s suffered in the dark days of the political repression in Mongolia, and were left without their fathers and grandfathers and were called the children of the anti for their whole lives. However, even though the dark days are behind them, most of them are homeless and survive on a tiny pension, struggling to get by.


UNESCO Certificates on Registration of Mongolian Calligraphy and Mongol Ger Presented
May 14 (infomongolia.com) On May 14, 2014, an official ceremony of handing over the UNESCO Certificates on the Registration of Mongolian Calligraphy on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, and Traditional Craftsmanship of the Mongol Ger and its Associated Customs on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity took place in Ulaanbaatar at the Children’s Palace of Mongolia.
At 8th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Baku, Azerbaijan in December 2013, 24 State Parties discussed 12 nominations for inscription in 2013 on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, and 31 nominations for inscription in 2013 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, where Mongolian delegates led by Secretary-General of Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO Mr. Gundegmaa JARGALSAIKHAN have promoted above nominations.
After which, State Parties unanimously agreed to register Mongolian Calligraphy as one of 4 selected and on December 05, 2013, the Session discussed 31 nominations for inscription in 2013 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, where the Traditional Craftsmanship of the Mongol Ger and its Associated Customs was inscribed along with other 10 elements on the Representative List.
At the Certificates handing ceremony, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO, Mr. Luvsanvandan BOLD, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ms. Tsedevdamba OYUNGEREL and other officials were present.
Related:
UNESCO certificates grantedMontsame, May 14


Mongolia’s Nuclear Free Status Discussed in New York
May 14 (infomongolia.com) The Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) held its third session at the United Nations Office in New York from April 28 to May 09, 2014.  
Following the Conference, Mongolian participating delegates met with five nuclear powers in New York, United States, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia on May 14, 2014.
The parties deliberated a draft resolution on Mongolia’s status to be issued at UN General Assembly session. Mongolia proposed including a provision recognizing fully the Mongolia’s status by the international community in the draft, seeking thereby a support from the nuclear powers. In considering that the Mongolia’s proposal and its consequences shall be deliberated, the parties agreed to go on discussing during the UN GA session.
Related:
Mongolians meet with delegates of Nuclear Weapon StatesMontsame, May 14

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