Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mongolia Brief February 4, 2015 Part I



Prime Minister meets local authorities
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, February 4 (MONTSAME) At the workshop meeting, run by the Cabinet Secretariat with the localities' authorities, the Prime Minister has given a detailed information about current economic level, policies and actions taken by the government.

The two-day meeting, completed this Tuesday, all the Governors of aimags and of the city were given  general directions and obligations concerning the 2015 development priorities, state budget, budget clarifications and implementation of the Glass Account law. They also reached agreements with the general budget administrators and determined policies and actions for this year.
The PM mentioned his words said earlier in interview that "two or three well-adjusted projects or programs can help Mongolia overcome the economic problems, they are a temporary decline that requires the public effort and a team-work", and said that his cabinet had discussed the concession agreement on new roads and had identified the State Distinguished Herders and Farmers. He also obligated the city and aimags' heads to work hard on nowadays problems.

Revised draft of Criminal Law submitted to Parliament for approval
February 4 (news.mn) At the plenary session of the Government, held on February 2, a revised draft of the criminal law and a draft law on violations were discussed. These laws are going to be submitted for approval by the Parliament, in accordance with procedures for the submission of laws and draft projects. 
The draft of the Law on Violation has been revised considering the contents and concepts of the new draft of the criminal law, and incorporating legal procedures in the current law. 
The existing criminal law was approved in 2002, and since that time, 10 amendments to the law have been made considering the changing demands of society and the state.

Minister of Energy meets UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia
February 4 (news.mn) Minister of Energy D.Zorigt has met with Sezin Sinanoglu, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Mongolia. During the meeting, Sinanoglu introduced the status of programs and projects carried out by the U.N. in Mongolia and the parties exchanged views regarding further cooperation.  
She noted that the elaboration of a five-year development program to be implemented by the United Nations in Mongolia has begun, and a program to be implemented by all diversified organizations of the U.N. will be starting in 2017. The Resident Coordinator mentioned that the U.N., together with the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, is going to introduce the Threshold 21 Model for macro economy development planning named “Partnership for Green Development”. 
The Millennium Institute's development program is going to be completed this year, and a proposal to cooperate further has been delivered. 
Sinanoglu mentioned that hot water and heating is going to be supplied to eight soums in Mongolia within the project “Water Supply of Rural Areas and Sewage Facility”,  and in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy, a proposal to supply energy to these soums has also been put forward. 
Minister of Energy D.Zorigt thanked the U.N. Resident Coordinator for providing information regarding the projects and programs being implemented by the U.N. in Mongolia, and said that the Ministry of Energy will put efforts towards further cooperation and study the possibility of the realization and implementation of projects.
Head of the Strategic Policy and Planning Department P.Tovuudorj, Senior Specialists of the Finance and Investment Department G.Enkhtuvshin and E. Solongo, U.N. Office Specialist Responsible for Natural Environment and Disaster Issues B.Bunchindev, and D.Erdenebulgan, an official from the U.N. Resident Representative Office, were present at the meeting.

Science industry to sue PM
By G. Ermuun
February 4 (gogo.mn) Science industry decided to sue the prime minister.
Specifically, the science sector which has more than 1,000 employees had not paid from last month.
Thus, today at 12:00, they will hold press conference at the Conference Hall of the Academy of Sciences.

What to give on Tsagaan sar?
By A. Narantsatsral
Mongolians have a tradition to visit friends and family on Tsagaan sar and exchange gifts. Recently, people prefer to support the domestic manufacture for the gifts rather than to choose imported low-quality gifts. 
In view of upcoming Tsagaan Sar celebration, "Made in Mongolia 2015" exhibition is being held at "Misheel expo" center. 
We are delivering you the photo interview from the exhibition. 

UBiers: Michelle Borok
February 4 (gogo.mn) We are delivering the next “Short Interview” featuring Expats in Mongolia, who are working and enjoying live in Mongolia and UB city. We aim to share their experiences of living in Mongolia. Our next guest is Michelle Borok, who works as English language editor at the UB Post and a freelance writer... Certainly, it starts with “Why Mongolia?"
Why Mongolia?
In 2010 I came as here as a tourist and fell in love with the country, and then in 2011 I fell in love with a Mongolian. I moved here in 2012 to take a chance on those loves and got lucky in both. Now it's hard to imagine any other place to call home. I've lived in Darkhan Uul since I moved here and absolutely love it, although we're in UB regularly for business, family, friends, and food.
How do you cope with the cold?
I barely do! I lived in Minnesota for a few years and vowed to never live in a place with snow outside of ski resorts after moving back to Los Angeles, but I here I am. Last year we bought a hashaa and built a new home. My one priority requirement was that it would be warm, and my husband came through on that like a champ. In the winter we do still venture out to the countryside outside of Darkhan to spend time with family. Somehow, you forget how cold it is outside when you're with family in the ger, gulping bowls of hot milk tea. And of course, it's never cold in a home filled with family for Tsagaan Sar.
Most favorite thing to see in UB?
When we come in to UB, it's to take advantage of the things we don't have in Darkhan. There are fantastic restaurants across the city and I always stock up on harder to find grocery items, but that's becoming less and less of a challenge over the years. My favorite thing about UB is also probably one of most problematic things: the centrality of it all. When people say that the real Mongolia is the countryside, I have to disagree. The real Mongolia is every corner of it. UB is a special place where all of that comes together. It's not the home to everything that's wonderful about this country, but it's where you can tap into all of those things in one place.
What would you suggest changing in UB?
My biggest frustration about UB is the disparity. Foreign journalists begin every Mongolia story about gers next to skyscrapers (forgetting to mention that's just where the construction crews hang out), and deel and Louis Vuitton off Chinggis Square. The contrast makes for great photos and anecdotes, but it's also a very real struggle for people. Aside from politics and economics, the love of traditional values and cultural heritage is one path to take out of a very treacherous and ever expanding wealth gap.
What were the greatest myths about Mongolia?
I think the greatest myth, one I believed when I first visited, is the notion of arriving here solo and being able to live a solitary life on the steppe. A solitary life here can be a curse. Mongolians are a warm and communal people. You can live well here with less, but it's nearly impossible to do it alone - perhaps that applies as much to the life of a herder as it does to city living. I haven't met a Mongolian yet who wants to live in isolation. Maybe that Western romantic ideal of being alone with nature says more about how far removed other cultures are from the importance of community and family, be it by blood or friendship. That lone herder you may spot from the roadside may truly appreciate the peace and quiet of solitude while he's out with his herd, but I guarantee you that he's eager to get home to a cozy ger full of family before the sun sets.
What would be your advice for the newcomer?
My advice would be to keep an open mind. Mongolian culture is unique among Asian cultures, and about 95% of whatever newcomers may believe about life in an Asian country does not apply here. There's a hunger for knowledge, understanding, and excellence that drives Mongolian society, and things are changing quickly, but I think it's also good to remember that a lot of major changes have happened within just a couple generations of the nation's political, cultural, and economic leaders. Be patient with Mongolia. While it works through the changes that are going to make it better place, savor the gifts it offers and try to spend less time worrying about expectations that aren't being met.

56.1% voted for developing the bigger projects such as OT
By B. Erdenechimeg
February 4 (gogo.mn) PM Ch.Saikhanbileg asked the nation which route Mongolia is to choose for its Development Path for Mongolia 2015-2016.
Total of 365,841 votes had submitted and out of 63,830 votes were not eligible due to people sent different texts or empty text. 
Thus, 56,1% of residents voted for developing its bigger projects such as OT vote 1 while 43,9% of residents voted for saving on its expenditures and stabilize the exchange rates vote 2.
Ts.Munkhtur, Advisor to PM said: "Residents were not responsible for attending the poll. The Government is to choose Development Path not only based on the result of the poll. In order to determine the attitude of the public, the Government asked the nation. There were no costs for the poll. Telecommunication companies accepted the social responsibility for the cost."
Related:
Public Poll on Choosing Developmental Way ConcludedMontsame, February 4

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