Swine flu scare in Mongolia

Newly appointed Prime Minister Batbold Sukhbaatar met with Lambaa, minister of Health and heads of Emergency Authority and heads of other relevant agencies this afternoon.

According to the Minister, number of the swine flu case reached 590 people. Four deaths due to the flu confirmed. One 28 year old pregnant woman died last night, according to unconfirmed reports. Flu outbreak has been registered in Bayan-Ulgii, Uvs aimags so far. Kindergartens in Ulaanbaatar, capital city, closed down. Flu scare is spreading throughout the country. WHO pledged to deliver the vaccine of the flu by end of November, according to the Health Minister.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service

Agenda of the Parliamentary hearing today

Regular full session of the State Great Khural today is to discuss first hearings of following draft laws.

These are: annulment of some provisions of General Tax law, revision of law on fund of Mongolia development (i.e state reserve fund), annulment of some provisions of law on Central Budget of Mongolia, revision of Corporate tax law.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service

Batbold is confirmed as 26th Prime Minister of Mongolia

Batbold Sukhbaatar, minister of Foreign Affairs and member of MPRP is confirmed by both President Elbegdorj Tsakhia and State Great Khural as 26th Prime Minister of Mongolia. 62 out of 66 legislators present at the Parliament voted for confirmation of the Batbold.

Batbold pledged to continue current coalition government and make every Mongolian employed and educated.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service

All rights reserved. Photos, texts of the MonInfo News Services can not be re-distributed or posted without prior permission.

DAO Mining Corporation is Expanding Into Mongolia

Toronto, Canada, October 28, 2009 --(PR.com)-- DAO Mining Corporation are predicting the sprawling desert country of Mongolia will become the future’s big resource story, following a landmark agreement with the government to develop one of the Asia’s largest copper-and-gold deposits.

The deal, which also involves the mining giant Rio Tinto Plc through a separate investment, helps clear up uncertainty over taxation and government involvement and lays the groundwork for more foreign investments.
Mongolia, a sparsely populated, landlocked country tucked between Russia and China, has some of the world's largest untapped reserves of copper, coal, gold and other mineral deposits. At least 24 other resource deposits are waiting to be developed and privatized. It has an estimated 62,000 tons of uranium reserves, the world's 15th largest, and total coal reserves of about 100 billion tons. The Mongolian government hopes to attract USD 25 billion in foreign investment in the mining sector over the next five years.
DAO Mining Corporation is focused on the most valuable minerals and the gold of the newly tapped resources. So far, political and regulatory uncertainties have kept Mongolia out of the global commodities boom. Concern about the potential damage mining could inflict on the environment has also spurred public opposition to foreign investment in the past. Global banks and foreign investors including Credit Suisse Group and Deutsche Bank AG have provided development financing for resources companies such as Mongolia Energy Corp., Lung Ming and South Gobi Energy Resources. Resource firms are also seizing opportunities. DAO Mining Corporation is working diligently to make sure that removing these mineral and gold deposits with cause minimal damage to the environment.
Contact Information
DAO Mining Corporation
Chris Miller


Rio & Chinalco in talks over Mongolia mine - paper

SYDNEY, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto is looking to mend relations with Chinese metals firm Chinalco by making a joint investment in Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine project, an Australian newspaper said on Thursday.
Rio Tinto ( RTP - news - people ) and Chinalco fell out in June when the miner walked away from a proposed $19.5 billion equity tie-up with the Chinese company and instead forged an iron ore partnership with rival miner BHP Billiton.

'Sources close to both Chinalco and Rio Tinto confirmed that the companies were proceeding cautiously with early discussions about investment and cooperation at Oyu Tolgoi,' The Age said.

One of the world's biggest untapped copper and gold deposits, Oyu Tolgoi lies in Mongolia's Gobi Desert, about 80 km (50 miles) from the border with copper-hungry China.
'Sources close to both Chinalco and Rio Tinto confirmed that the companies were proceeding cautiously with early discussions about investment and cooperation at Oyu Tolgoi,' The Age said.

One of the world's biggest untapped copper and gold deposits, Oyu Tolgoi lies in Mongolia's Gobi Desert, about 80 km (50 miles) from the border with copper-hungry China.
Rio Tinto declined to comment on The Age report, noting that Chinalco was still the major shareholder in Rio Tinto and that it was always in talks with its investors.

'Chinalco is our largest shareholder and we always have conversations with shareholders,' a Rio Tinto spokesman said, adding that these talks were confidential.
Mongolia will take a 34 percent stake in the project under an investment agreement signed with Ivanhoe this month.

(Reporting by James Regan and Mark Bendeich; Editing by ) (If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to news.feedback.asia@thomsonreuters.com) Keywords: RIOTINTO CHINALCO/

(mark.bendeich@thomsonreuters.com; +612 93731817; mark.bendeich.reuters.com@reuters.net)


Copyright Thomson Reuters 2009. All rights reserved.

The copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters.



Bio of the Batbold Sukhbaatar, Minister of Foreign Trade and nominee for the Prime Minister's position

Bio of the Batbold Sukhbaatar, Minister of Foreign Affairs and legislator and nominee for the Prime Minister position

Born in 1963 in Ulaanbaatar
Graduated high school no.14 of the Ulaanbaatar.
1986-University of International Relations, Moscow, Soviet Union
1991-University of Business, London, UK
2002-Academy of Diplomats, Russian Federation
International Economist, Diplomat

1986-1988-Expert at the Import division of the Ministry of Economy
1988-1992-Head of export firm of "Mongol Impex" Concern of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1992-2000-General Director of the "Altai Trading" LLC
2000-2004-Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
2004-2006-Minister of Industry and Trade
2004-Legislator of the State Great Khural
2008 September-Minister of Foreign Relations up to now

MPRP selects Batbold Sukhbaatar, Foreign Minister as nominee for Prime Minister's post

179 members out of 180 members of the MPRP Conference voted for Batbold Sukhbaatar, the minister of Foreign Relations for the nomination of the Prime Minister late Wednesday.
Now, ruling party or MPRP will submit the nominee to Elbegdorj, President for his approval. It is likely that he will approve Batbold as prime minister within next few days. Then State Great Khural will confirm him on Friday.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service


Ruling Council of the MPRP nominates Batbold Sukhbaatar for the Prime Minister's post

Foreign Minister Batbold Sukhbaatar posing with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Ruling Council of the MPRP nominated Batbold Sukhbaatar, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Prime Minister's post.

Now conference of the MPRP is about to start and approve the nomination. Members of the conference can nominate different candidates for the post despite the decision of the ruling council.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service

All rights reserved. Text, photos posted on Mongolianviews site can not be copied and redistributed without prior permission from MonInfo News Service.

At 3 pm, State Great Khural to discuss resignation of Bayar; MPRP Conference to convene late afternoon

State Great Khural is scheduled to meet at 3 pm to formallly accept resignation of the Prime Minister Bayar. MPRP Conference to discuss next Prime Minister's nominee is at 6 pm.

Currently, the list of the candidates include: Batbold Sukhbaatar, legislator and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Munkh-Orgil, Legislator and former Minister of Justice and Home Affairs, Zorigt Dashdorj, newest legislator of the Khural and Minister of Minerals, Khurelbaatar, legislator and former secretary of state of the Ministry of Finance, Nyamdorj, Minister of Justice and Home Affairs.
Name of the nominee likely to emerge very late in the evening today.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service

Shenhua energy profit rises 14.6% on higher output

BEIJING (Bloomberg) -- China Shenhua Energy Co., the nation’s biggest coal producer, said profit in the first nine months rose 14.6 percent on increased output.
Net income climbed to 26.03 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) from 22.7 billion yuan a year earlier, the Beijing-based company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Tuesday, citing international accounting standards. Sales rose 13.7 percent to 88.15 billion yuan.

Net income climbed to 26.03 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) from 22.7 billion yuan a year earlier, the Beijing-based company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Tuesday, citing international accounting standards. Sales rose 13.7 percent to 88.15 billion yuan.

China’s demand for coal, used to generate about 80 percent of the nation’s power, has risen as the government’s stimulus spending drove third-quarter gross domestic product growth to its fastest pace in a year. Shenhua Energy increased coal output by 15.2 percent in the first nine months to 158.8 million metric tons, the company said on Oct. 15.

“The company achieved outstanding results in production and operation. The continuous good performance of the macro economy is favorable for coal demand,” the statement said.

Shenhua Energy’s shares have more than doubled this year, compared with a 54 percent in the benchmark Hang Seng Index. The stock fell 0.3 percent to HK$36.35 Tuesday.

Parent company Shenhua Group Corp. may report an 18 percent gain in 2009 profit as economic growth spurred consumption of the fuel, Chairman Zhang Xiwu said on Oct. 23.

The group’s net income may climb to 45 billion yuan while revenue is likely to increase 14 percent to 160 billion yuan, Zhang said at the time.

Coal-field acquisitions

Shenhua Energy may pursue domestic and overseas acquisitions, focusing on large-scale integrated coal fields, Zhang, who is also chairman of the Hong Kong listed company, said in March.

The coal producer had submitted a “competitive bid” for the Tavan Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, President Ling Wen said in September. The Mongolian government is assessing bids from about 10 international companies, Ling said then.

Mongolia may choose at least one partner for the $2 billion Tavan Tolgoi coal project and will give priority to bids that offer to develop the mine’s infrastructure, Mongolian Deputy Minerals and Energy Minister Baldanjav Ariunsan said last week at a conference in Tianjin. A decision may be expected by this year, according to the government official.

Shenhua Energy’s first-half profit gained 14.2 percent from a year earlier to 16.9 billion yuan, the company said in August.

Shenhua Energy plans to spend 148 billion yuan to double its output by 2015, the South China Morning Post reported on Aug. 17, citing Company Secretary Huang Qing. This includes the construction of two mines at a cost of 100 billion yuan in Inner Mongolia and Shaanxi provinces, the newspaper said.

Source:Bloomberg News


Opinion: Power struggle within Mongolian Buddhist temples and clergy

Today's press conference by Sanjdorj, head lama of the "New Center of Mongolian Buddhists" demonstrated rift between the Buddhist monasteries in Mongolia. Gandantegchenlen is considered to be central monastery of Mongolian Buddhism as it is oldest and only one preserved by then People's Government which demolished about 700 monasteries and temples throughout Mongolia in 1930s. Hamba Lama or Abbot of the Gandantegchenlen is Choijamts, fatherly looking, celibate monk who lives with his elderly mother. Since 90s, he has been in this position.

Sanjdorj is head of another monastery right outside walls of Gandantegchenlen. Being monk or lama in Mongolia is prestigous. Lama receives respect and attention anywhere in Mongolia. Lamas provide spiritual services such as astrological consultation, chanting of scriptures,various blessings and performance of rituals and driving away bad ghosts and spirits etc. All this services paid by believers in form of offerings and donations. Nobody knows exactly how much the temples, lamas make as revenue of temples are tax-exempted.
Some lamas abuse their power and prestige. They prefer rich and influential people who can offer and donate more than ordinary Mongolians who barely affords offerings that must be made to lamas.
If one would assume the whole offering and donation for Buddhist temples and monasteries as market, are the monasteries and temples vying for more influence and prestige among ordinary believers?
There is conflicts between individuals monks of the Buddhist temples and monasteries and not theological differences.
My thought is Mongolian Buddhism needs reform.Arrival of the 9th Bogd from India can not solve the power struggle within the ruling Buddhist clergy. To expect much from physically weak and sick eighty some year old man who has no clue about what is happening behind walls of the Mongolian Buddhist monasteries and temples is wishful thinking. Some factions within the Buddhist community is clearly using the Bogd as toy for power struggle with each other. That is my conclusion after attending the press conference of Sanjdorj, the Abbot.

By Ganbat, Editor of MonInfo News Service

China Investment Corp invests $500 million in Canada miner

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- China Investment Corp.'s latest investment came to light Monday, with news the Chinese sovereign-wealth fund will buy securities from a Canadian miner, while also securing a deal to source coal from the company's Mongolian operations.
CIC will invest $500 million in convertible bonds of SouthGobi Energy Resources Ltd. in a move that will help the Canadian company accelerate its coal mining and exploration activities in Mongolia.

SouthGobi /quotes/comstock/11v!sgq (CA:SGQ 12.80, +0.35, +2.81%) /quotes/comstock/11i!sgqrf (SGQR.F 11.86, +0.10, +0.86%) , in which Ivanhoe Mines /quotes/comstock/11t!ivn (CA:IVN 12.63, -0.66, -4.97%) holds about a 79.3% stake, wrote in a statement posted on its Web site Monday that a unit of CIC will invest $500 million in 30-year debentures of the company, bearing 8% a year in interest.

SouthGobi said it will shortly enter into a separate cooperation agreement with the CIC unit, under which it will be obliged to sell at least 10 million tons of coal mined in Mongolia to neighboring China over a five-year period, at the average rate of two million tons a year.
Inability to meet that target will oblige SouthGobi to pay CIC's unit "a compensatory payment," payable either in cash or shares.

The announcement by SouthGobi came after Dow Jones Newswires reported Friday, citing a person with direct knowledge of the matter, that the SouthGobi was planning to raise $250 million from in initial public offering in Hong Kong.

CIC is believed to have about $300 billion in assets.
SouthGobi's president and chief executive Alexander Molyneux said the investment program is "the first step toward establishing value-added processing in Mongolia, which is now a priority for the Mongolian government."

SouthGobi plans to build a coal-washing facility to sell processed coal products and will work with Mongolian partners to build transportation infrastructure in Mongolian territory near the Chinese border, where SouthGobi's mines are located.

SouthGobi said it may use about $120 million of the investment proceeds received from CIC for working capital, debt repayment and other general corporate purposes. The conversion price of the debentures has been set at 11.88 Canadian dollars ($12.71), or its 50-day volume weighted average price, whichever is lower, with a floor price of conversion set at 8.88 Canadian dollars.

SouthGobi shares rose 2.8% to 12.80 Canadian dollars in Toronto on Monday.

Under the terms of the complex agreement, both CIC and SouthGobi have the right to call for a conversion of the debentures into SouthGobi common shares, SouthGobi said.

CIC can convert the debentures 12 months after the date of issue, so long as its voting shares in SouthGobi don't exceed 29.9%, or if SouthGobi's public float stands at 25% or more of its common shares. At the same time, SouthGobi can ask CIC to convert about $250 million worth of debentures 24 months after the issue date, if SouthGobi shares are priced above 10.66 Canadian dollars.

CIC will also have the first rights to buy any planned stake sale in SouthGobi by its parent Ivanhoe Mines, while the debentures are outstanding or while CIC has a 15% stake in SouthGobi.

Varahabhotla Phani Kumar is a reporter in MarketWatch's Hong Kong bureau.


Transcripton of the Press Conference: Sanjdorj, head lama of the New Center of Mongolian Buddhists

9th Bogd and Sanjdorj, head lama of New Center of Mongolian Buddhists

Transcription of the Press Conference by Sanjdorj, head Lama of the New Center of Mongolian Buddhists and Mongoliin Ikh Huree Temple
Location:Press Institute, Ulaanbaatar
Date:Oct 27, 2009
Transcription done by MonInfo News Service

It has been two days since 9th Bogd has arrived in Mongolia. Objective of the Bogd’s visit is discussion about management and organization of Mongolian Buddhist temples and monasteries and internal issues such as review of rules to be followed by the monasteries and preaching and direct development and future of Mongolian Buddhism to holy Dharmic path.
The 9 th Bogd is very tired and weak now. Therefore, we want to take good care of our teacher [Bogd] and then solve our internal issues in duscussion with the Bogd. By the way, we have one famous Korean lama and medical doctor here in our center. We are planning to use the Korean doctor for caring and treating the Bogd. The doctor is very good and experienced doctor which treated many people. Last time, he treated popular singer Khorolsuren within one day through acunpuncture.

2nd, Gandantegchenlen monastery issued program of visit of the 9th Bogd.Accordng to this program, the 9th Bogd is supposed to visit different temples and monaseries every day and preach and chant scripture. In another word, it will be very tough program to follow for one month. Teacher will be very tired since he can not walk by himself. There is much internal conflicts to why Gandantegchenlen monastery prepared such program for Bogd. Now let me talk about it.9th Bogd is supreme head of the Mongolian Buddhism.Therefore, arrival of the Bogd provides opportunity to solve issues such as selection of head of Gandantegchenlen monastery, which is main temple of Mongolian Buddhism. However, Gandantegchenlen is reluctant to conduct activities directed to rural area and engage in other areas etc. In another word, Abbot Choijamts wants to retain his position.
9th Bogd was put in a dormitory of religious high school without light and candle / that day happened to be day of power restriction in Ulaanbaatar/. This show disrespect of the Bogd. When met Bogd in the airport, put him in chair of disabled person and led through people in the lobby of the airport. In my opinion, Bogd should have been put in stretcher carried by 4-8 people on their shoulders. This would have been very respectful for the Bogd. State has own ceremony. Similarly, the religion also needs ceremony service. At least, we have to think about reputation and name of our religion. Gandantegchenlen monastery maybe planning to have legislators of the State Great Khural and famous wrestlers and wealthy people visit the 9th Bogd and collect offerings and donations by them by organizing various meetings and visitations.

Here, I would like to tell to rural believers ‘ don’t come to Ulaanbaatar to visit the 9th Bogd and cause yourself financial costs’ as Bogd is unable to receive believers due to poor health. Goal of his visit this time is not like that. This time, he came here to solve internal conflicts within Mongolian Buddhism.

We at New Center of Mongolian Buddhists telling this as we are the only organization to defend interests of Buddhist believers in Mongolia.
There are many Buddhist abbots in Mongolia.However, these abbots can not solve issue who will lead the Mongolian Buddhists. Therefore, we have invited the Bogd to solve this issue.
Choijamts, abbot of the Gandantegchenlen monastery was in this position for 18 years.He does not want to go. It is unclear whether he will stay for another 18 years. Here, I’m not attempting to become next Abbot. There are many young monks who are very capable for this position.
Let’s respect our Bogd.
Here, I would like to say old and new centers of Mongolian Buddhists are not in conflict with each other

Mongolian language version of the Transcript (in cyrillic)
2009 оны 10,27-ний 13,00-13,20

Монголын Бурхан Шашинтны Шинэ тîв áîëîí Монголын Их хүрээ Хийдийн тэргүүн : З,Санждорж /тэргүүн хамба лам/:

- Манай оронд 9-р Богд Жавзандамба ирээд 2 хонож байна. Ерөнхийдөө ирсэн зорилго гэвэл Бурхан Шашны байгууллагуудын удирдлага зохион байгуулалтын асуудлыг хэлэлцэх, монголын сум хийдуудийн дагаж мөрдөж дүрэм журмыг нягтлах, айлдвар сургаалаа хайрлах, монголын бурхан шашны ирээдүй, чиглэл, хөгжлийг ариун зам мор руу нь чиглүүлэх зэрэг шашны дотоод асуудлаар ирж байгаа юм
Богд гэгээний хөл өлмий нь чилээрхуу байгаа, тийм ч учраас бид багшийгаа ядраах бус харин асарч сайхан амраагаад хол дээр нь босгоод, дотоод хэргээ шийдүүлэх ийм сайхан айлчлал болж байгаа гэж узэж байна.Үүнтэй холбоотойгоор хэлэхэд, манай Бурхан шашны төв дээр Солонгосын нэг лам, алдартай эмч õóí байäàã. Тэр хунээр Богдын хөлийг эмчлүүлж хөл дээр босгох бодолтой байгаа. Энэ хүн олон хүнийг эмчилж эдгээсэн туршлагатай, хамгийн суулийн жишээ гэхэд олны танил дуучин Хоролсурэнг ганцхан хоногийн өмнө 1 удаа зүү тавиад л хөл дээр нь босгосон.

2-рт Гандан тэгчилэн хийдээс "9-р Богд Жавзандамбын айлчлалын товч хотолбор" гэсэн зуйл гаргасан байгаа. Энý õºòºëáºðò Бîãä ãýãýýíèéã одор болгон 1 сум хийд дээр очиж ном уншина гэñýí байгаа, оороор хэлбэл 1 сарын турш Богд гэгээнийг ийм, хунд байдалд оруулна гэсэн нь байж болохгуй зуйл, тэрээр хол муутай, оороо явж чадахгóй байгаа хун. Òýãýõýýð çîðèóä èéì õºòºëáºð áýëäñýí ó÷ðûí öààíà маш олон дотоод çºð÷ëèéí асуудал байгаа нуугдаж байгаа. Оноодрийн энэ хэвлэлийн бага хурлаар энэ тухайгаа ний нуугуй яръя гэж бодож байна. 9-р Богд Жавзандамба бол Монголын Бурхан шашны îðîéí äýýä тэргуун . Òийм ÷ учраас Áîãä ãýãýýí èðñíýýð Монголын тов Гандан тэгчилэн хийдийн тэргуунийг чолоолох,сонгоõ,удирдлагыí асуудлыг шийдэж 1 мор болгох ийм боломж гарч байгаа þì. Õарин гандан хийд ходоо орон нутаг руу õàíäñàí ¿éë àæèëëàãàà ÿâóóëàõ ,оор зуйлд анхаарлаа хандуулах зэргээр хулээж авах дургуй байгаа юм, Оороор хэлбэл õàìáà ëàì ×îéæàìö оорийн албан тушаалыг авч улдэх сонирхол öóõàëçàæ áàéãàà þì. 9-р Богдыг анх залж ирсэн одор нь ò¿¿íèéã тас харанхуй, лаа ч байхгуй, зул ч байхгуй, ийм гэрэл ч байхгуй шашны дунд сургуулийн оюутны байранд îðóóëñàí áàéãàà /тэр одор нь тогны хязгаарлалт хийж òààðñàí àæ/ Энэ бол маш хундэтгэлгуй хандаж байãààãèéí èëðýë. Анх тосож авахдаа ë тахир дутуугийн тэргэнцэр дээр суулгаад хумуусийн дундуур коридороор турээд явсан. Миний бодлоор бол ёс жаягийнхаа дагуу дамнуурган дээр суулгаад 4-8 хун морлож оргоод, хогжим тавих мэтээр хундэтгэлтэй хандах залах ёстой áàéñàí. Аливаа торд торийн ёслолын алба гэж байдаг, туунтэй адил шашинд ч бас ёслол хундэтгэлийн алба байх ёстой. Èéìýýñ ингэж шашны ёс жаягаа уландаа гишгэхгуй байгаа ч ээ, ÿäàæ øашны нэр хундээ бодох хэрэгтэй гэж хэлмээр байна. Мон Гандан тэгчилэн õèéäèéí ç¿ãýýñ УИХийн гишууд, манай аварга бохчууд, монготэй хоронготэй компаний эзэд гэх мэт хумуусийг Бîãäîä бараалхуулж ìîðãóóëæ улмаар хандив цуглуулах, ÿíç áóðèéí хандивын уулзалт çîõèîí áàéãóóëàõ, авилгал авах ãýõ ìýòèéí далд санааг агуулж болох талтай.

¯¿íòýé õîëáîîòîéãîîð íэг зуйлийг анхааруулж хэлэхэд сусэгтэí олон тумэн ходоо орон нутгаас 9-р Бîãä ãýãýýíäээ áàðààëõàõ ãýæ наашаа öààøàà зардал чирэгдэл болж ирэх огт шаардлагагуй, учир нь Богд гэгээн эргэл моргол хийх олон тумнийг хулээж авах биеийн ýð¿¿ë ìýíäèéí áîëомжгуй, оороор хэлбэл òèéì çîðèëãîîð ч èðýýã¿é, õàðèí бидний хувьд øàøíû дотоод асуудлаа шийдуулэх зорилготой

Монголын Бурхан шашинтны шинэ тов нь Сусэгтэн олны эрх ашгийг хамгаалагч монгол дахь цорын ганц ийм байгууллага гэдгийнхээ õóâüä,бас сусэгтэн олныг чирэгдуулахгуйн тулд уунийг анхааруулмаар байнаа.
Одоо монголд их олон хамба лам байна. Энэ олон хамба хэн нь хэнийгээ чолооолох вэ гэдэг зуйл их хэцуу асуудал болоод байна. Тиймээс л 9-р Богд гэгээнийг залж асуудлаа шийдуулэхийг зорьсон. Гандан Тэгчилэнгийн хамбын албыг Чойжамц 18 жил хийлээ,албан тушаалаасаа салах дургуй байгаа юм уу, дахиад 18 жил сунах гээд байгаа юмуу гэх мэт олон зуйл тодорхойгуй байна. Би оороо хамба болох гээд байгаа юм биш, оөр залуу хүмүүс зөндөө байна.
Ингээд эцэст нь хэлэхэд Богд багшийгаа дээдэлье ээ, хайрлая аа, хундэтгэлтэй хандацгаая аа.
Туунээс биш 2 төв хоорондоо тэрсэлдээд байгаа юм биш.

From the Mongolian Press: Abbot Choijamts degrading reputation of Buddhism

Sanjdorj, head lama of the New Center of Mongolian Buddhists in press conference held on Oct 27, 2009

Sanjdorj, abbot and head of “New Center of Mongolian Buddhists” gave interview to reporter Yondonduichir of “Niigmiin Toli” or “Social Mirror” newspaper. The abbot is very critical of the current situation of Mongolian Buddhism.
-They say it was difficult to set up “New Center of Mongolian Buddhists”. Why it was difficult to set up a place of “Holy Dharma?
-Choijamts, abbot of the Gandantegchenlen monastery created much obstacles for creation of the center. He protested very much the inception of the center.

-Can you cite a concrete example?- Ok, let me tell you one fact. Abbot Choijamts gave an official letter no.108 dated May 23, 2008 to the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs, which is in charge of registration of NGOs. Content of the letter was something like “new center of Mongolian Buddhists denying role and significance of Gandantegchenlen monastery, therefore, it should be not allowed to be created.”

-Why he had to do this? He is a person who speaks about spreading and supporting goodness?-This letter demonstrated true face of the abbot. He speaks about supporting monasteries and temples.Then in reality, he competes with other temples like this in very unfair way. Here, intention is to dominate everything without competition. Therefore, Mongolian Buddhism is unable to be reformed.

-You said you experienced much pressure. What else did you experience?-A year after inception of the new center or in March, 2009, we planned to hold a conference in Wrestling Palace and arranged and prepared everything. Then, he again created problems for us. Gandantegchenlen Monastery banned the conference and Tsedendamba, religious advisor of then President Enkhbayar pressured us. However, we were able to overcome this. The conference was held with 2339 representatives and approved main charter of the center. Also passed several important documents such as memorandum on cooperation and appeal.

- Did representatives of Gandantegchenlen monastery participated in the conference?-Unfortunately, the heads of the monastery strongly instructed its monks not to participate in the conference. However, some monks were sent in with ordinary clothes and camera. Since there are not many monks, we can easily recognize them.

-Why Abbot Choijamts creates problems for the “New Center of Mongolian Buddhists”?-In 1991, first conference of Mongolian Buddhists was held. Center of Mongolian Buddhists was set up officially during this conference and passed its constitution. Governing board of the center is to be council of Lovons [Lovon is a Buddhist Religious title given to high ranking monks].Day-to-day activity of the center was to be done by Abbot of the Gandantegchenlen monastery. By constitution of the center, every four year, Council of the Lovons is to discuss issues of convening next conference and whether to replace management of the center etc. However, since then up to now or for 18 years, the conference was never convened. I suspect this is due to his interest of retaining his power and position of the abbot. He suspected conference of new center would discuss about dismissing him. He used religious advisor of the then President Enkhbayar and, Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs and police and intelligence to stop the conference of the new center.

-Besides issue of power, what are other reasons for Abbot Choijamts not to convene council of the Lovons and the conference?
-Besides power and authority, there are many other reasons such as finance, donations, projects etc. He wants all these under his authority and therefore, violated and changed religious rules on his own.

-What rules does he violated ?-According to the constitution passed by the first conference of the Mongolian Buddhists, “The center will have own stamp, letterhead and bank account and conduct its activities independently.” Unfortunately, as of today, only stamp, bank account of the Gandantegchenlen monastery is used in the center.

-So the Center of Mongolian Buddhists has no own bank account and stamp? -Yes, the center has no own stamp and bank account. Another violation of the abbot is he changed council of the Lovons which is supposed to be directing and supervising him. By rule, the council members should be elected by next conference. However, the Abbot directly elected about 30 lovons of rural monasteries that are newly established and put them under his authority. Thus, the abbot has become” untouchable” and has unlimited authority.

- What benefit does abbot of the Center of Mongolian Buddhists enjoy?- There are much benefits such as economic and personal. This also includes corruption issue involving the Abbot. For instance, when Abbot Choijamts was traveling in the USA, one rinpoche gave him a very expensive jade snuffing bottle and asked the abbot to spend the bottle for restoration of Mongolian rural Buddhist monasteries and temples. However, Abbot Choijamts gave the snuffing bottle to Erdenebat, director of the “Erel” company and former minister of fuel and energy. Erdenebat in return gave the Abbot three-room apartment. Now the abbot lives in that apartment. Erdenebat mentioned about it in interview to newspaper. There are many numerous such gifts and donations to the Abbot.

-There is talk that monks at the Gandantegchenlen monastery does not chant scriptures requested by believers?-Objective of our organization is to defend interests of believers. However, in Gandantegchenlen, scriptures requested by belivers are not chanted completely. This means, the monastery just takes money of believers without performing the chanting for them. Believers think monks chanted the requested scriptures. Therefore, monitoring organization, especially, state organizations such as Citizen Representative Khural needs to improve monitoring of the monastery.

-How do you know scriptures requested by believers are not chanted fully by the monks?-I have graduated University of Buddhism under Gandantegchenlen monastery and interned at the monastery. Therefore, I know. Monks at the monastery chants regularly chanted scriptures in the morning and offers Mandala for all.

-Do the monks mention names of believers offering the Mandala?-No. It is enough just to say for all living beings
-So then, the chanting really does not benefit person who requested it?-Well, only god knows that.

-Will you be in trouble for disclosing such intormation related to secret of organization?-I have spoken a lot about it. Unfortunately, nothing has been done so far.

- Is there any organization to defend interests of believers in Mongoila?-There used to be union of believers. However, Gandantegchenlen monastery put pressure and disbanded the union. Now only “New Center of Mongolian Buddhists” are to defend interests of the believers.

-Is your monastery chants scriptures requested by believers?-Yes. In our temple, requester and monk sits face-to-face and chants the scriptures.

- So no inspection is being done in Gandantegchenlen monastery?-There is no organization to monitor the monastery as it is a virtuous organization. It is not clear how donations and offerings given by believers and various companies are being spent. Even if inspection is done, it is done very superficially.

-What you mean by superficial?-Not very detailed. Just checks for certificates and official things. Inspection is more strict on foreign religions.

- Why no inspection is being done at the Gandantegchenlen?-I don’t know it. Therefore, our new center is proposing to change all these and reform. Since the council is false, management, finance and activities of the [old] center is in mess.

-Abbot Choijamts is related to TV-9. They say, recently, the abbot is questioned by Anti-Corruption agency because of this?- The TV-9 was donated to Gandantegchenlen monastery by a Japanese religious organization in order spread and strengthen Buddhism in Mongolia. However, the Abbot made it a business TV station by partnering with former President Enkhbayar Nambar. This is very unethical issue for a monk.

-Did he receive money for this?- Yes. He admitted it himself. He shared the money fifty fifty with Enkhbayar.

-However, believers think Abbot Choijamts is holy monk in pursuit of Dharmic path and avoids money etc.
- Well, all believers think so. Unfortunately, it is not so. For instance, in 2008, Abbot obtained 90 hectare land in a place called “Ogoomoriin am” of Bogd Khaan mountain. He announced throughout the country that University of Nalindra will be built there and opened an account and started receiving funds and donations from people. Project proposal of the university was set up on the internet and opened accounts for donations and funds in US, Switzerland, England etc. He even announced that one million of the 21 million dollars is promised to be given by His Holiness Dalai Lama. However, so far today, no school called Nalindra exists in Mongolia. That was a false advertising and cheating people. Since Dalai lama never lies, he must have given one million dollars to the Abbot. There are many such false things such as where is this one million dollar now? I’m sad to see that Abbot Choijamts is defaming the Buddhism all over the world.
-Did you turn to government and authorities about reform of the Buddhism in Mongolia?
- Many times, I have criticized current situation of the Mongolian Buddhism. Under president Bagabandi, Buddhism was better. However, during presidency of Enkhbayar, he completely neglected the Buddhism. When I presented need of reform in Mongolian Buddhism to current President Elbegdorj, he welcomed us and gave us written reply that he will cooperate with us on this issue. I’m fighting to keep our religion pure.


Confirmed death due to swine flu in Mongolia reaches four

As of Oct 27, confirmed death due to the swine flu is four, according to spokesperson of the Ministry of Health.
Last saturday, 38-year old woman who sells vegetables in Erdenet city died due to the flu.She had fever at home for five,six days without consulting household doctor. Her son is being treated now.

29-year old male, resident of Ingettolgoi soum of Bulgan aimag died last sunday night in hospital.
This adds up number of confirmed death due to flu to four.

Ministry of Health mobilized 6000 intern-medical students to work in emergency centers set up throughout Ulaanbaatar and other aimag centers.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service


As far back as she knew -- five generations or more -- Khurtsaa’s family had lived in Mongolia’s central Khentii Province, raising sheep, goats and horses. Like most nomadic herding families, they moved around with the seasons, to traditional spring, summer, autumn and winter grazing spots. But slowly, the pastureland has changed. "The flowers I used to see when I was little started disappearing, and then the grass started getting worse," she recalled. About five or six years ago it got bad enough that the family started having to move more frequently to find suitable grass for their herds, eventually moving as many as 10 times a year. "There wasn’t enough grass, and it wasn’t good grass," she said.

Last year, they gave up and moved to a new province altogether, Tov. The grass there is much better, she said, and they now only have to move about four times a year.

But this territory was already occupied by other nomadic families. Her new neighbors "pretend to be understanding," she said. But climate change is affecting their pastures, too, and when an official from the local government showed up and demanded that they move back to where they had come from, he said he was coming because some of her new neighbors -- she didn’t know which -- had complained.

Global warming is having a harsh effect on Mongolia’s nomadic herders, who comprise about 40 percent of the country’s overall 3 million inhabitants. Since 1940, the mean air temperature in the country has increased 1.6 degrees Celsius. Heat waves are longer, and rain patterns have become "quite variable, decreasing at one site and increasing at a site nearby," according to an assessment by the country’s Ministry of Nature and the Environment. The Gobi Desert, in the south of the country, is creeping northward.

These changes are having damaging economic consequences. According to research by the Mongolian government, the average weight of a sheep in Mongolia decreased four kilos from 1980 to 2001, while the weight of a goat dropped two kilos and that of cattle 10 kilos. Wool production dropped more than 8 percent over the same period.

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, visited Mongolia this past summer to call attention to the impact of global warming on herder communities, and on the need for governments to help address climate-change issues.

Climate change is causing a variety of social dislocations in Mongolia, including the kinds of conflicts that Khurtsaa’s family is experiencing. There is no concrete data on these conflicts, but they are real, and the days when Mongolia was so wide open that nomads could wander freely are coming to an end, said G. Davaadorj, head of the Coping with Desertification Project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

"Traditionally, the population in Mongolia has been very small, as well as the livestock population. And with the vast territory, it was viable to practice that kind of livestock breeding. But nowadays, factors like climate change, urbanization and a dramatic increase the number of livestock, it’s become impossible to migrate when and where one wishes," he said. "And so there is a great increase in these types of conflicts."

The Mongolian government is working on a number of strategies to mitigate the effects of global warming. The Ministry of Nature and the Environment is looking at how to teach herders to use pastureland so that the grass grows back faster. Officials are also trying to set aside reserve animal feed for hard times and to improve water access, said D. Dagvadorj, director of the ministry’s Department of Information, Monitoring and Evaluation. So far, though, he said the progress has been "not so great."

In addition, officials have produced draft legislation to change the way land is used as pasture. Under the constitution, pasture land can not be owned and is free for anyone to use. But under the draft law, local authorities would be able to allocate pastureland for long term use by a particular family. The amount of land would be determined by local authorities based on the number of family members and animals.

The draft law, which is currently under review by the relevant government ministries and agencies before being sent to parliament, could potentially resolve some climate-related issues, but experts say the legislation is unlikely to win legislative approval, Davaadorj said. Influential members of parliament from the Gobi don’t support it because their constituents generally have to move more frequently because of the harsh conditions there. So other options include imposing a small tax on land use, or taxing goats and horses because they have a disproportionately negative effect on pastureland, he said.

Like Khurtsaa’s neighbors, Khuukhen, an elderly herder in the Gobi Desert near the city of Dalanzadgad, said families are leaving her neighborhood in droves. "When I was younger, most of this area had good pasture. Now maybe only 20 percent of it is good," she said in an interview in her ger, or felt tent. "Everyone is leaving for somewhere with better pasture, sometimes close by, sometimes far away."

Khuukhen said that generally her family is accommodating toward other families that move into the area. But when another family moved to within a couple of kilometers of their home turf this fall, they had to object. "If someone comes in the summer, it’s not a problem because there is enough pasture," she said. "But after August, we can’t allow it."

Her husband went to the new family’s ger and told them they had to move, and they didn’t argue. "They knew their animals were eating our grass," she said.

Editor's Note: Joshua Kucera is a Washington, DC,-based freelance writer who specializes in security issues in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East.


China to Fund SouthGobi Mongolia Coal Expansion

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- SouthGobi Energy Resources Ltd., a unit of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., said it has obtained $500 million of financing from China’s sovereign wealth fund to expand and develop coal reserves in southern Mongolia.

China Investment Corp., the country’s $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, will provide SouthGobi a $500 million convertible debenture to expand its coal-mining business at deposits including Ovoot Tolgoi and Soumber, Chief Executive Officer Alexander Molyneux said today in an interview in Beijing. The debentures can be converted into a 22 percent stake in SouthGobi, Molyneux said.

“We’re at a stage where we want to accelerate our business and we need the financing to move forward, otherwise the timeline for development will be slower,” Molyneux said. “China Investment Corp. provided us an attractive option” for doing so, he said.

Ivanhoe Mines Chairman Robert Friedland said last week Mongolia may become the “Saudi Arabia of coal.”

Ovoot Tolgoi, 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of Mongolia’s southern border with China, has 114.1 million metric tons of coal reserves, according to an October presentation on the company’s Web site.

Third-quarter coal sales from Ovoot Tolgoi were forecast to rise 17 percent from the previous quarter to 450,000 tons, according to the presentation.

Ivanhoe Mines, based in Vancouver, owns 80 percent of SouthGobi.

To contact the Bloomberg News staff on this story: Eugene Tang in Beijing on eugenetang@bloomberg.net; Stephen Engle in Beijing at sengle1@bloomberg.net.


China's CIC to lend Canada's SouthGobi $300 million: sources

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp. (CIC), will lend Canada-listed mining group SouthGobi Energy Resources $300 million to fund mining projects, sources said on Friday.

The loan will allow SouthGobi to fund more projects ahead of its planned Hong Kong initial public offer and allow China to partner a company that has its main coal mine in Mongolia.
The agreement between the two is in line with China's push to invest in Canada's natural resources sector, an industry that the Chinese and other Asian countries are descending on in search of cheaply valued companies and access to metals, coal and oil.
Korea National Oil Corp's C$1.8 billion ($1.7 billion) bid for Harvest Energy Trust on Thursday is at least the fourth Asian deal involving a Canadian company since July.

CIC had earlier bought a $1.5 billion stake in Teck Resources, a top producer of zinc, copper and metallurgical coal.

SouthGobi, 80-percent owned by Ivanhoe Mines , is listed in Canada but focused on exploring and developing metallurgical and thermal coal deposits in Mongolia and Indonesia. SouthGobi's flagship coal mine is Ovoot Tolgoi, in Mongolia.

The loan from CIC will allow the company to fund infrastructure, more mines and coal processing projects, sources with direct knowledge of the deal said. The sources were not authorized to speak publicly about the agreement.

CIC's deal with SouthGobi will also grant China coveted access to Mongolia's natural resources and gives SouthGobi a powerful political ally in Beijing, providing the coal miner with clout and political leverage as it negotiates with Chinese coal customers.

The CIC-SouthGobi agreement could be announced as early as next week, according to the sources.

Reuters reported in June that SouthGobi plans to raise roughly $250 million through a Hong Kong initial public offering. The company hopes to complete the IPO by the first quarter of next year, one source said on Friday.

Macquarie Group is advising SouthGobi on the CIC loan, according to the source. The three companies were not immediately available for comment.

(Additional reporting by Chen Aizhu in BEIJING; Editing by Chris Lewis, Ken Wills and Valerie Lee)


Entree Gold Receives Mongolian Mining Licences

VANCOUVER, October 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Entree Gold Inc. (TSX:ETG; NYSE Amex:EGI; Frankfurt:EKA - "Entree" or the "Company") announces that its application for conversion of the Shivee Tolgoi and Javhlant exploration concessions to mining licences has been approved by the Mineral Resources Authority of Mongolia and the licences have been received. The eastern portion of the Shivee Tolgoi licence and the entire Javhlant licence are subject to a joint venture with Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., through its subsidiary, Ivanhoe Mines Mongolia Inc. LLC (TSX: IVN; NYSE: IVN; NASDAQ: IVN - collectively "Ivanhoe Mines"). Mining licences have a 30 year term with two renewals of 20 years each possible.

Greg Crowe, President and CEO of Entree stated: "The granting of the mining licences provides the long term security necessary for Entree and its joint venture partner, Ivanhoe Mines, to advance the known deposits at Oyu Tolgoi through development to production. It also provides sufficient time for testing the potential along strike extensions to Entree's Hugo North Extension and Heruga deposits and for the diligent and systematic exploration of other copper, gold and molybdenum prospects. The granting of these mining licenses represents a pivotal moment in the advancement of our Mongolian assets."

Shivee Tolgoi (54,760 hectares) and Javhlant (20,346 hectares) completely surround Ivanhoe Mines' Oyu Tolgoi mining licence. Conversion of these licences has now consolidated a sizeable land position upon which the Oyu Tolgoi mining complex will be established.

Title to the portion of the Shivee Tolgoi licence outside of the joint venture ("Shivee Tolgoi West") is 100% owned by Entree LLC, the Company's Mongolian subsidiary. The Company believes that further exploration is warranted on Shivee Tolgoi West, which covers over 35,000 hectares, to identify additional mineralization which could be processed through the Oyu Tolgoi facilities.

Successful conversion of these exploration licences to mining licences was a condition precedent to the Investment Agreement signed between Ivanhoe Mines, our largest shareholder Rio Tinto (NYSE: RTP; LSE: RIO.L; ASX: RIO.AX) and the Mongolian government on October 06, 2009. These mining licences are contained within the Contract Area covered by the Investment Agreement. Under the terms of the Entree-Ivanhoe Mines joint venture, Entree retains either a 20% or 30% carried interest on these licences, dependent on the depth of mineralization.


Entree Gold Inc. is a Canadian mineral exploration company focused on the worldwide exploration and development of gold and copper prospects. The Company flagship property is in Mongolia, where it holds two mining licences and one exploration licence comprising the 179,590 hectare Lookout Hill property. Lookout Hill completely surrounds the 8,500-hectare Oyu Tolgoi project of Ivanhoe Mines, and hosts the Hugo North Extension of the Hugo Dummett copper-gold deposit and the Heruga copper-gold-molybdenum deposit.

The Company continues to explore its large landholdings in Mongolia, including the coal discovery Nomkhon Bohr. Entree is also evaluating new opportunities throughout the region and elsewhere in Asia. Entree is exploring the Huaixi copper project in Zhejiang Province in China, under the terms of an agreement with the No. 11 Geological Brigade.

In North America, the Company is exploring for porphyry-related copper systems in Arizona and New Mexico under agreements with Empirical Discovery LLC, in Nevada through option agreements with HoneyBadger Exploration Inc. and Bronco Creek Exploration Inc. and in British Columbia through an agreement with Taiga Consultants Ltd.

The Company is also seeking additional opportunities to utilize its expertise in exploring for deep and/or concealed ore deposits. With a treasury in excess of C$40 million, the Company is well funded for future activities.

Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto are major shareholders of Entree, holding approximately 15% and 16% of issued and outstanding shares respectively.

This News Release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements which relate to future events. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may", "should", "expects", "plans", "anticipates", "believes", "estimates", "predicts", "potential" or "continue" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Such statements include those relating to the development of the Oyu Tolgoi project and the conversion of the Shivee Tolgoi and Javlant exploration licence to mining licences. These statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our or our industry's actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.

While these forward-looking statements, and any assumptions upon which they are based, are made in good faith and reflect our current judgment regarding the direction of our business, actual results will almost always vary, sometimes materially, from any estimates, predictions, projections, assumptions or other future performance suggested herein. Except as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the United States, the Company does not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements to conform these statements to actual results. Readers are referred to the sections entitled "Risk Factors" in the Company's periodic filings with the British Columbia Securities Commission, which can be viewed at http://www.SEDAR.com, and with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, which can be viewed at http://www.SEC.gov.

For further information: Monica Hamm, Manager, Investor Relations, Entree Gold Inc., Tel: +1-604-687-4777, Toll Free: +1-866-368-7330, E-mail: mhamm@entreegold.com; Peter Oates, Corporate Communications, Entree Gold Inc., Tel: +1-604-687-4777, Toll Free: +1-866-368-7330, E-mail: poates@entreegold.com

Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of Entree Gold Inc.


China Nuclear May Start Mining Mongolia Uranium in Two Years

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- China National Nuclear Corp., the nation’s biggest operator of reactors, plans to start mining uranium from the Gurvanbulag deposit in eastern Mongolia within two years.

China Nuclear’s stake in the mining venture will be decided soon, Tsogtsaikhan Gombo, a director at MonAtom, Mongolia’s state-owned company in charge of uranium, said in Beijing. The Mongolian government must own more than 51 percent of any uranium project, he said.

The world’s second-largest energy consumer wants to increase the use of nuclear power by about 10 times by 2030 to cut reliance on oil and coal, the government-owned China Institute of Atomic Energy said in April. China has been in discussions to develop uranium resources in countries including Algeria and Jordan.

China National declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg.

The Gurvanbulag deposit holds 10,000 to 15,000 metric tons of uranium reserves compared with Mongolia’s proven reserves of about 62,000 tons of the nuclear fuel, Gombo said at a conference Oct. 23. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s estimate of Mongolia’s uranium reserves is more than 1.2 million tons.

China Nuclear got access to Gurvanbulag after its acquisition this year of a majority stake in Canadian mining company Western Prospector Group, which discovered the reserves.

China’s own uranium resources can meet domestic demand until at least 2020, Kang Rixin, China Nuclear’s former president, said on July 4.

--Baizhen Chua. Editors: John Chacko, Alex Devine.

To contact Bloomberg News staff on this story: Baizhen Chua in Beijing at +86-138-1046-5154 or bchua14@bloomberg.net.



Second death due to swine flu confirmed in Mongolia

Second death due to the flu was confirmed by Health officials today.
Number of infected reached 374.
Health Minister Lambaa appealed all state and private sector entities to grant five-day-paid-leave to employees with flu symptoms so they gan seek medical care as soon as possible.

A resident of Sukhbaatar district of Ulaanbaatar died last night said health offcials. This is second death due to flu since its outbreak on Oct 15.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service

Lundeejantsan, MPRP Parliamentary group leader: Bayar will remain as chairman of the party

Bayar Sanjaa will remain as chairman of the MPRP said Lundeejantsan, MPRP parliamentary group leader.
In press conference held in Government house, Lundeejantsan said MPRP parliamentary group always backed the Premier and highlighted achievements of Bayar as Premier. This undoubtedly includes signing of Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement and start of negotation on Tavan Tolgoi coal mine.

MPRP party rule states head of the party can be prime minister when party wins in election. It is up to discretion of party chairman to take responsibility of premiership. In 2007, Bayar decided to take post of the premiership when party conference voted for him as chairman replacing Enkhbold Miegombo. Currently, Bayar is highest rated and popular politician in Mongolia.

According to political rumor mill in Ulaanbaatar, potential contenders for Prime Minister's post includes Batbold Sukhbaatar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zorigt Dashdorj, Minerals Minister and fresh legislator, Enkhbold Nyamaa, vice Speaker of the Parliament.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service


Editorial: Implications of the Prime Minister Bayar's resignation

It has just been announced Prime Minister Bayar Sanjaa is resigning due to deteriorating health. Bayar never hid the fact the he suffers from hepatitis C. Liver disease due to Hepatitis C or B virus is one of most common diseases in Mongolia.
He gone through medical tests and treatment in South Korea and Singapore. Last week, he was treated in hospital no.2 of Ulaanbaatar.Liver disease is a silent killer and progresses slowly without much symptoms. Long work hours and stress and heavy responsibility of the Premiership coupled with careless life of single man took toll on Bayar's health.
Mongolian media for sometime speculated about possible resignation of the Premier.

However, Health Minister Lambaa denied this last week.When Bayar became Prime Minister in November, 2007, he pushed for start of mega-mining projects such as Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi. As Prime Minister, he took back mining license of Tavan Tolgoi coking coal mine from privately held consortium of "Energy Resources" comprised of powerful companies with connection to some of top legislators and ministers. Tavan Tolgoi is a coal mine discovered and explored by state fund during Communist time before 1990s.Tough-talking and determined Bayar regained right of state to own the deposit from private companies, which was not dared by previous premier.
He was able to persuade MPRP legislators of importance of passing Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement sooner than later.In order to support domestic agricultural farming and food production, he initiated "third virgin land campaign" to till farm land and grow vegetables and grain in Mongolia.
Many in Mongolia saw Bayar as a man who does what he said. During his premiership, Mongolia saw unprecendented street riot after 2008 parliamentary election. Confrontation between Elbegdorj,then chairman of the Democratic Party and Bayar was televized live that day of street riot. Bayar blamed Elbegdorj for instigating the rioters.

Bayar was a prime minister with unwavering determination. He did not use ambigious language with media. He was very direct. His absence from Mongolian political life could complicate further mining deals and future development of country. A lot will depend on who will replace Bayar. MPRP Conference will decide on next prime minister on this Wednesday.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service


General Secretary of the MPRP: ruling council of the party accepted request of the Prime Minister to resign due to health reason

Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, general secretary of the MPRP said "Ruling Council of the MPRP accepted request of the Prime Minister to resign due to health reason. Now the Party will request the Parliament speaker to consider request of the Prime Minister".

It has long been rumored that Prime Minister Bayar might resign due to deteriorating health condition. Last week, Health Minister Lambaa refuted these rumors and said this week Prime Minister will be back to work.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service

Breaking News:Prime Minister Bayar Sanjaa to resign due to health reason

Prime Minister Bayar Sanjaa made an announcement that he is resigning from the Premier's post due to health reason during irregular cabinet meeting held this morning.
This was confirmed by anonymous source at the Press Service of the Government of Mongolia. Source said " Government yet to announce the decision of the Prime Minister officially."

Prime Minister has liver disease due to "Hepatitis C" and went to South Korea and Singapore for treatment before. Heavy responsibility of the Premiership taking toll on health of Prime Minister Bayar.
MPRP Conference is set to discuss the emerging political situation in country on Wednesday.
Current Government is coalition government comprised of Mongolian Democratic Party and MPRP.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service

Tuva and Mongolia are re-establishing ties torn up during the years of “perestroika”

At the end of October, the Premier of Tuvam sholban Kara-ool will meet with the president of Mongolia, Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj. The head of the border region of Russia received an official invitation to visit Ulan-Bator from the new government of Mongolia in June of this year.

Tuva, there fore , plans to re-establish once-close economic and cultural ties with their neighbors, which were interrupted during the “perestroika” years.

The Republic concluded several treaties with with the border-region aimaks of Mongolia – Zavkhan, Khuvsugul, and Uvsu-Nur. The parties agreed about exchanges of livestock, and breed animals, as well as joint touristic, cultural and educational projects, and other co-operative ventures.

President of Russia, Dmitrii Medvedev, spoke about the necessity of closer and more effective mutual relations of the border regions of Russia with Mongolia. In August of this year, the head of the government signed a Declaration about Development of Strategic Partnership with the newly elected President of Mongolia, Elbegdorj.

In the framework of the Russian-Mongolian Declaration, which was signed in Ulan-Bator, a visit of the Buryat President Vyacheslav Nagovitsin to Mongolia took place recently.

It is known that questions of development of the border-crossing point “Khandagaity-Borshoo” will be evaluated during the program of the Premier of Tuva’s projected visit to Mongolia, as well as questions of co-operation in there-organization of farming and herding production and raw materials, and evaluation of the Mongolian experiences with renewable energy resources ( solar batteries) in distant and hard-to-reach regions, and other matters.

An official representative consular agency of Tuva in Mongolia is to be opened in Ulan-Bator.

In the external economic activity of the republic, 98.4% falls to Mongolia. At that, the meat products percentage is the largest of the imports, and constitutes 86%, according to statistics from 2008.

By Dina Oyun, translated by Heda Jindrak
October 24, 2009


Mongolia: Hospitable desert

Driving through Mongolia you soon discover that the nomads - about 30 per cent of the population - have an open door policy.
We've hardly left Ulaan Bataar, the ramshackle capital, when we pass a ger, Mongolia's version of the teepee, and a family emerges and waves us down. They want us to come in and have snack.
And that's how it continues. Drop in, be fed and have some conversation (luckily we have a translator). All they like in return is a spot of vodka.

It's a fantastic concept, and it somehow feels like this is the way things were meant to be before we all security-coded our gates and locked ourselves in apartments.

The menu leaves a bit to be desired for the Western palate. It's a meaty stew, followed by some fermented mares' milk.

You learn pretty quickly in Mongolia that everything comes with meat and that dairy products are left to sit for a few days. I'm handed what I think is a delicious bit of shortbread - the perfect cure for the sour milk that's making my eyes water - but crunching in, I discover it's a tasty piece of curd.

Each day is spent the same way: four to six hours of driving, stopping along the way to eat food that would make a vegetarian... well, you simply couldn't be a vegetarian in Mongolia.
As we go south heading for the Gobi desert it gets dryer and hotter. When we blow our noses blood comes out. And as the greenery disappears, the generosity of the families we encounter simply increases.
One family kills a goat and we get first dibs on intestines, heart, liver and stomach.

There are several distractions going on in this particular ger while I tell my brain to swallow: a baby on the floor having a nap; next to the baby, a fresh carcass; above the baby, two young goats playing on the furniture. One of the kids decides to jump down in goatish delight, landing on the baby; there's crying, the goats are sent outside, and another batch of intestine is served up.

I'm actually in Mongolia to hunt and film a documentary about the Mongolian Death Worm, a 1.5m acid-spitting worm rumoured to live deep in the Gobi desert - but we won't mention that because it would undermine the documentary.

Our expedition starts in Ulaan Bataar which turns out to be in a state of disrepair. Everything is overgrown, cracked, or falling down. Feral dogs wander the streets. Three power stations are dotted round the city, their names boldly written on the side: "Power Plant 1", "Power Plant 2" and "Power Plant 3". Inspiring.

The highlight is the Mongolian Museum of Natural History. They have almost complete skeletons of two fighting velociraptors, and the giant arms of a dinosaur that's the biggest ever found. They're still looking for the body.
We climb up to the Zaizan Memorial, covered in bold paintings illustrating the Soviet role in World War II and their friendship with the Mongolian people. It's a weird thing, involving motifs ranging from Nazis to doves. Turn your head, and there's a perfect panoramic view of the city. The three coal-fuelled power stations belch out smoke. It's hazy. It's time to get out of here.

We fill up on vodka at the store and then hit the road. Giant potholes litter every square metre of the surface and soon there's no road at all so we make do with tracks that criss-cross the landscape. It's literally a case of choose your own route. And there aren't a lot of people along the way.

Which is probably why the few you do meet are so pleased to see visitors. Typically after dinner a bottle of vodka is opened (usually horrid Russian stuff, if you're lucky Mongolia's favourite, Chinggis) and a bowl filled up. It's passed in your direction, you have a gulp, pass it back and it's filled back up to the top. This continues around the ger until the bottle's finished.
It kills the bugs in your stomach, and sleeping becomes much less of a challenge. Sleeping juice, we called it.

As I sleep, I dream of the Gobi museum, a ramshackle place full of bad taxidermy and terrible murals. There's something charming about a badly stuffed snow cock next to a badly stuffed goat.
I wake up, and walk outside the ger to have a wee. By now I'm used to having no toilet - the idea is just to find somewhere where no-one else has gone - but when I turn on my torch 200 eyes stare back. The goats are home for the night.
The next night I dream about sand, sand as far as the eye can see, after we've spent the day driving over the Gurvan Sayhan Nuruu dunes.

We climb one of the biggest dunes, Duut Mankhan, which takes over an hour because with each step the sand under your feet slides downhill. Running back down, the whole dune shifts behind us, sliding, slipping. I hear a loud plane overhead but can't see it. We're close to China now so it doesn't seem implausible they'd be flying about. But it turns out the noise is the dunes, trillions of grains all rubbing and sliding and banging together. Some camels wander by. They don't seem to care.

We find ourselves at a small noyon festival. There's no archery on the programme, but there are Mongolian wrestlers: big, meaty and in underpants. Before each fight they bend over and slap their thighs. Whoever lands on the ground first is the loser. The winner dances like a bird to show that he is not just a fighter, but agile and majestic. Mostly, it just looked like men in undies pretending to be birds.

Waking up next morning I hear the noise of the baby tyrannosaurus rex from Jurassic Park 2. In the movie it's moaning in pain, wanting its mother. In this episode, however, it's young camels telling their parents they want food.

Sure enough, noise brings the adult camels wandering casually back. They always wander casually, camels: I have yet to see a panicked camel.

The herder and his family milk them. By now I've already milked a horse, so a camel doesn't seem particularly strange.

Helping with the animals is a regular thing. A few days ago I helped a retarded child herd up a pack of goats and tag them with blue paint. The kid only had one wheel on his BMX but it didn't seem to bother him. He still rode it about. Loved it.
I can't talk about the Noyon province - that's Death Worm country - suffice to say it's not pleasant and your mucous contains even more blood. It's deep in the south - all hard, rocky and brown - making the greenery of Northern Mongolia seems a world away.

Scorpions scuttle about and snake tracks are a common sight. The nomads we talk to say it's getting drier and drier; they're worried they're going to have to move again. Their families have spent decades in this area. Shifting is a real stress.

But it's time for us to shift: Driving home we stop at the Flaming Cliffs. Explorer Roy Chapman Andrews - the chap the Indiana Jones character is based on - found loads of dinosaur bones here. Some of his finds proved that dinosaurs laid eggs, a pretty big deal in the world of paleontology.

In any other country this piece of rugged magnificence would be fenced off. But this is Mongolia, and we wander, run and jump our way through.

That's the good thing about Mongolia and the Gobi: the freedom. The freedom and the friendliness of the people there, it's like nowhere else on earth.
Next time we return, it'll be to the North. There's no Mongolian Death Worm there, but they do have the Almas - a large yeti-like creature that comes down from Russia in the winter. Mongolia never ceases to surprise.

Getting there: Cathay Pacific offers a daily service from Auckland to Beijing via Hong Kong. From Beijing, Air China offers daily non-stop flights to Ulaanbaatar. Check cathaypacific.co.nz for more information.

Further information: If you want to get off the beaten track in Mongolia e-mongol.com is a good start point.

David Farrier's documentary on the Mongolian Death Worm is still in preparation and should be ready for screening about the middle of next year.

By David Farrier
Source:Herald on Sunday, New Zealand Newspaper


Russia bidding for a coal deposit in Mongolia

The consortium of the Russian companies including "Gazprom", "EN +" Group of businessman Oleg Deripaska and Victor Vekselberg's "Renova " group, are bidding for a share in large coal deposit of coal Таvan Tolgoi in Mongolia, said the Ganzorig Temuulen, the deputy director of Mongolian company Erdenes MGL which will have the control over a deposit.

Elena Rollins, Representative "EN + " group has confirmed that EN + and "Renova" groups have joined the consortium. Representative of "Gazprom" said he has no information on participation of the Gazprom in the bidding.
Other bidders for the deposit includes mining giant BHP Billiton and Vale, Indian Jindal, American Peabody, Chinese Shenhua, South-Korean consortium COPEC and a group of the Japanese companies, said Ganzorig.

As he said, the government will select the winners within two, three months. The government of Mongolia pledged to select winners of the bidding of Таvаn Тоlgoi which holds estimated reserves of 6, 5 billion tons of coking coal by the end of 2009. Mongolia is expected to sell up to 49 % stake of the deposit.

EN+ is energy division of Basic Metals Group of Russian Businessman Oleg Deripaska.


Original Russian text of the story:
23.10.2009 19:13 —

Россия претендует на угольное месторождение в Монголии
Консорциум российских компаний, включающий «Газпром», группу EN+ бизнесмена Олега Дерипаски и группу «Ренова» Виктора Вексельберга, претендует на приобретение доли в крупном месторождении угля Таван Толгой в Монголии, сообщил в пятницу Темуулен Ганзориг, заместитель директора монгольской компании Erdenes MGL, которая будет иметь контроль над месторождением.
Представитель EN+ Елена Роллинз подтвердила информацию о том, что в консорциум входят EN+ и «Ренова». Представитель «Газпрома» сообщил, что не имеет информации об участии компании в тендере.
Остальными претендентами на месторождение являются горнодобывающие гиганты BHP Billiton и Vale, индийская Jindal, американская Peabody, китайская Shenhua, южнокорейский консорциум COPEC и группа японских компаний, сообщил Ганзориг.
По его словам, правительство может определить победителя в течение двух-трех месяцев.
Правительство Монголии обещает определить победителей тендера на разработку Таван Толгой, резервы которого оцениваются в 6,5 миллиарда тонн коксующегося угля или в $2 миллиарда, к концу 2009 года. Монголия намерена продать до 49% в проекте разработки этого месторождения.


President of the Trade Union stages protest against Government

Ganbaatar, President of the Mongolian Confederation of Trade Unions launched sit-in protest in central square of Ulaanbaatar. Government unlawfully took social insurance fund and therefore, I'm demanding return of the social insurance fund, said the Union President.


China CNPC spends $500 mln for Mongolia oil drilling

BEIJING, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Chinese oil major CNPC has earmarked half a billion dollars this year for oil drilling in Mongolia, but has so far only made a small discovery, a Mongolia government official said on Friday.

"Altogether, 26 blocks have been taken by companies including Sinopec and CNPC, but the discoveries they've made are minor and are not economically viable to develop," Temuulen Ganzorig, deputy director of Erdenes MGL, a Mongolian state company, told a forum in Beijing.

Both Sinopec and CNPC entered into production sharing contracts with Mongolia a few years ago to explore for oil in eastern and southern parts of the country, he added.

The official said the government might open three new oil blocks to foreign companies, but he did not provide a timetable.

CNPC, parent of Asia's largest oil and gas producer PetroChina (0857.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), secured a $30 billion state loan last month to fund overseas expansion, as Beijing seeks to secure resources for the world's fastest-growing major economy. (Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Chris Lewis) (eadie.chen@reuters.com; +8610 6627 1268; Reuters Messaging: eadie.chen.reuters.com@reuters.net))


Ivanhoe Ready to Start Building $4 Billion Mongolian Mine

Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., the Canadian miner developing the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia with Rio Tinto Group, said it’s ready to start mine construction at the $4 billion copper and gold operation.

The venture is “ready to start full-scale mine construction” at the mineral deposit, bigger than the size of Manhattan, Chairman Robert Friedland said today at the China Eurasia Investment Forum in Beijing. The mine will boost Mongolia’s gross domestic product by 30 to 35 percent a year compounded over 30 years, Friedland said.
Ivanhoe, based in Vancouver, signed an agreement with the Mongolian government on Oct. 6, ending more than six years of talks to mine the deposit. The project, which Rio has called the largest copper and gold resource, may operate for many as 30 years and generate $30 billion to $50 billion of revenue, Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj said last month.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jesse Riseborough in Melbourne at jriseborough@bloomberg.netStephen Engle in Beijing at sengle1@bloomberg.net


Mongolia lists 8 potential bidders for coal project

BEIJING, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Mongolia has shortlisted eight potential partners for its huge Tavan Tolgoi coking coal project, according to Temuulen Ganzorig, deputy director of Erdenes MGL, the Mongolian government company that will hold at least 51 percent of the equity.

Ganzorig said on Friday that the shortlisted bidders included BHP Billiton (BHP.AX), India's Jindal, Brazil's Vale (VALE5.SA), U.S. coal miner Peabody (BTU.N), and China's Shenhua (1088.HK), as well as South Korea's COPEC consortium, a group of Japanese companies, and a Russian consortium including Gazprom (GAZP.MM) and Renova.

"There are feasibilities to be clarified, options such as to divide the deposits into two to three blocs," he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Beijing.

Mongolia will select the winners of the highly contested coal mine stake sale by the end of this year, Mongolia's vice-minister of Mineral Resources and Energy said on Wednesday.

Mongolia has hired JPMorgan (JPM.N) and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) to sell up to a 49 percent stake in the mine.

Tavan Tolgoi, which holds estimated reserves of 6.5 billion tonnes of coking coal, may be split between bidders from China, Russia, and a leading international miner such as BHP, sources told Reuters previously. [ID:nHKG366792]. (Reporting by Chen Aizhu; editing by Jacqueline Wong)


Reincarnation of last theocratic ruler of Mongolia to arrive Sunday

9th Bogd Javzandamba, reincarnation of 8th Bogd Khaan which ruled Mongolia until 1921 set to visit Mongolia on Oct 25, 2009.
The Bogd lives in Dharmasala, India and is a Tibetan national. When 8th Bogd Khan passed away in 1924, then People's Government (Communist) declared no more reincarnations of Bogd khan will be necessary in Mongolia.

However, Tibetan Buddhist leaders including 13th Dalai lama claimed 9th Bogd Khaan to lord over Mongolia is born in Lhasa, Tibet in 1932.

The Bogd made a controversial visit to Mongolia in July 1999 under guise of a tourist. He was received warmly by upper class Mongolians, Buddhist clergy and initiated as Bogd Khan of All-Mongolian Buddhists.
Many devout Mongolian Buddhists want the Bogd Khaan to stay in Mongolia and head Mongolian Buddhism. However, in Mongolia, church and state is separate and he can no longer be theocratic ruler of all Mongolians which adhere to many faiths including Christianity and secular and atheistic.

Reported by Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service

First death due to swine flu in Mongolia

Tsolmon, Vice Minister of Health confirmed first death due to swine flu in Mongolia.
In press conference held today, officials said death of 41 year-old male is due to the flu.
The deceased worked as machinist in Ulaanbaatar Railway depot. Test taken from the person before his death,confirmed suspicion that he died due to the flu.
As of now, more than 300 cases of the flu has been registered in Mongolia.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service


Zorigt Dashdorj sworn in as legislator of the State Great Khural

Zorigt Dashdorj, minerals minister andn winner of the By-election held on Oct 18 in Chingeltei district has just sworn in as legislator.This makes the Parliament complete with all 76 seats fully occupied since election last year.

MPRP is the dominant force in the Parliament with 46 seats and Democratic Party with 27 seats. Independents and minor parties hold 3 seats.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service

A Chinese dissident detained in Mongolia

Chinese authorities make an unusual arrest in the Mongolian capital.

HONG KONG—Chinese police from the northern city of Ormos, in China's Inner Mongolia, have detained the head of a Tibetan medical college outside United Nations offices in the capital of the neighboring independent country of Mongolia, sparking calls for greater protection for asylum-seekers in third countries.

Batzangaa, 35, a Chinese national and ethnic Mongolian who developed a network of traditional Mongolian-Tibetan medical practitioners around the Inner Mongolian region of China, was arrested at the front entrance of the U.N. refugee agency office building in Ulaanbaatar on Oct. 3.

Four Chinese police officers sent from China accompanied by more than 10 Mongolian police detained Batzangaa, his wife Bayanhuaar, and their nine-year old daughter.

"We were in Mongolia at the time," Bayanhuaar said.

"They brought us back from Mongolia [to China]. At the time, they told us it was because we owed someone money because we set up a school of Tibetan medicine, and they were suing us to get it back, that it was 'economic fraud.'"

No recourse

According to the New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC), the three were deported back to Ordos municipality in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, on the same day, with no apparent recourse to Mongolian legal proceedings to challenge the deportation order.

Before leaving China, Batzangaa had set up and run the Ordos Mongol-Tibetan Medical School of traditional Tibetan medicine, and had a series of disputes with the Chinese authorities over the right to maintain the school’s ethnic characteristics, the group said in a statement.

Bayanhuaar and the couple's daughter were released from detention, but were placed under house arrest immediately after arriving at Ordos' Dongsheng district.

Bayanhuaar was notified of her husband's formal arrest by the local authorities Oct. 8.

Communications cut

Batzangaa is being held at the Dongsheng District Detention Center.

"After my husband left [Ordos], he told us that someone might be trying to kill us, and our Internet was cut off at home. So was the telephone line," she said.

"We [applied] for asylum [in Mongolia]."

She said she visited her husband in the Ordos Detention Center Tuesday, and called for his immediate release.

SMHRIC chairman Xi Haiming said the Chinese government is anxious to stamp out any cultural ties between Mongolians and Tibetans following ethnic unrest in Tibetan areas of China, which peaked in Lhasa in March 2008.

"I think that this case is very political, because at the beginning of this dispute the authorities were saying that it had nothing to do with money, that it wasn't an economic problem," Xi said.

"They are too sensitive about the use of the word 'Tibetan.'"

Xi said Batzangaa was detained virtually on the doorstep of the United Nations refugee agency in Ulaanbataar.

"He was detained outside the door of the United Nations as he came out of their branch offices to apply for political asylum by Chinese and Mongolian police together. Does the UNHCR [U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees] protect the rights of asylum-seekers or not?"

Medical school

In 2001, Batzangaa established the Ordos Mongol-Tibetan Medical School in Dongsheng. The school enrolled more than 1,000 Mongolian students who began practicing Mongolian medicine, providing affordable, sometimes even free, medical treatment to poverty-stricken rural Mongolian communities.

Later, Batzangaa also set up the Affiliated Hospital of the Ordos Mongol-Tibetan Medical School with the coordination of Henan County Mongol Tibetan Hospital in Khukhnuur province.

But the authorities put the school under surveillance, alarmed by its growing ties with Tibetans and Mongolians, and canceled the school's land lease, citing "the authorities' suspicion and surveillance towards ethnic minorities" in its official documents, the SMHRIC said.

Xi continued: "There really is no difference between Tibetan medicine and Mongolian medicine. We Mongolians also believe in Tibetan mythology and Buddhism. We are closely bound up with it."

"Under such circumstances, the Chinese Communist Party wants to divide and rule ... Their purpose is hidden, but it's the eradication of Tibetan and Mongolian culture."

Calls to the Ormos police station, municipal education bureau, and Dongsheng district government offices went unanswered during office hours Tuesday.

Original reporting in Mandarin by An Pei and by RFA's Tibetan service. Mandarin service director: Jennifer Chou. Tibetan service director: Jigme Ngapo. Translated and written for the Web in English by Luisetta Mudie. Edited by Sarah Jackson-Han.

Copyright © 1998-2009 Radio Free Asia. All rights reserved.

Source:Radio Free Asia

Professor Jack Weatherford, author of "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" in Mongolia

President Elbegdorj Tsakhia met Jack Weatherford, US Professor and author of "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" book.

The book is published in 22 countries of the world and was selected as "Bestseller" by New York Times Newspaper.

This time in Mongolia, he printed the book and another book titled " Secret Chronicle of Mongolian Queens" in Mongolian language. During the meeting, professor presented copies of the books to President Elbegdorj.

Professor Weatherford who has been researching about Mongolia during last 30 years told the President he plans to present a rare collection of Mongolian maps made in Germany, England, Italy since 15th century to Mongolian people next spring.

President Elbegdorj thanked the Professor for publicizing Mongolian history, culture, customs through his books and asked him to write history book about modern Mongolia.

Professor Weatherford said he will study this proposal very carefully. He said Mongolian democracy is example to many countries of the world.

Source:Presidential Press Service

Health Minister denies rumors about possible resignation of the Premier

Health Minister Lambaa denied rumors about deteriorating health condition of Prime Minister Bayar Sanjaa and said Premier will be going back to work next week.

Mongolian media said Prime Minister may resign due to health reason within a month.
Currently, Prime Minister is being treated at Hospital no.2 of Ulaanbaatar.

By Ganbat, reporter of MonInfo News Service

Mongolian ambassador visits Bozeman, Montana

CHRONICLE PHOTO Khasbazaryn Bekhbatk, Mongolian ambassador to the United States, talks with Bozeman residents at the Story Mansion on Tuesday.

Mongolia's ambassador to the United States was in Bozeman Tuesday, urging the community to strengthen its already stout ties to his Asian country.

Khasbazaryn Bekhbat, his wife and his advisors were in Bozeman after traveling to Colorado, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. While in Bozeman, he met with several Bozeman-based organizations that already work on projects with Mongolia , including Montana State University.

MSU has been sending students and faculty to Mongolia for close to 10 years through Bioregions International, which uses research and education to help sustain balances of natural, social and economic wealth in Mongolia, according to MSU.
Bekhbat said he hopes Mongolia can collaborate more with Montana on agricultural issues.

"I hope the collaboration will further expand, because Mongolia is primarily an agriculture and livestock economy," he said. "We attach top priority to developing our agriculture industry."

Along with academic ties, Bozeman is connected through organizations like the Tributary Fund, which promotes culturally sensitive conservation projects, and resident Kent Madin, Honorary Consul of Mongolia for Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

The quiet reception for the ambassador, held at the Story Mansion, was sponsored by Madin, The Tributary Fund, Bioregions International, and travel agencies Boojum Expeditions and Sweetwater Travel.

Madin said he became a "Mongo-phile" when he got off an airplane in Mongolia and saw it wasn't too different from Bozeman. The similarities between Montana's and Mongolia's climate, economy and landscape foster their strong ties, he said.

"It makes mores sense to connect to Mongolia than to the Sudan," Madin said.

The ambassador said he was "somewhat aware" of the extensive ties between Bozeman and Mongolia before his visit Tuesday.

"But when you see and when you meet the people who maintain friendship with Mongolia, it's a very different thing," he said. "I encourage Montana and Mongolia to continue to build."

Daniel Person can be reached at dperson@dailychronicle.com or 582-2665.

By DANIEL PERSON Chronicle Staff Writer

Source:Bozeman Daily Chronicle newspaper issue dated Oct 20, 2009

Rich in Resources but Powerless All the Same

ULAN BATOR — Few places on earth have as much energy resource wealth, or as much energy poverty, as Mongolia.
Energy experts say the cold, sparsely populated nation of 2.7 million possesses the largest coal reserves in the world, as yet largely untapped. And it has good conditions to produce wind and solar power.

But look around the capital and little of this abundance is on display. Built for 500,000, Ulan Bator is now home to between 1.5 million and 2.6 million people, and rural migration is driving the population up at a pace of about 5 percent a year.

Many of these new arrivals, and perhaps 60 percent of the city’s inhabitants, live in districts with no paved roads, sanitation or running water. Many are not connected to the electricity or district heating grids.

In winter, tent dwellers in Ulan Bator’s swelling informal settlements burn coal, wood, and cow dung to heat their tents, generating smoke so thick and black that residents say you cannot see to the other side of a crosswalk.

To provide cleaner energy and to rein in pollution require grappling with the problem at both ends — finding ways to offer clean, modern energy to people in the countryside, to stem the tide of migration, as well as to the new arrivals in the city. But the solutions are expensive, and time may be running out as environmental degradation worsens.

A study by Ulan Bator in 2007 showed a $2 billion investment would be needed over 15 years to provide clean energy and clear the air. The report recommended that households switch from raw coal to cleaner briquettes, which would also reduce fire risk, and use cleaner stoves — which would cut fuel use by 40 percent but cost as much as $60, double the price of standard models. It also recommended building well-insulated housing to encourage nomads to abandon their tents, known as gers.

But the city government has little room to maneuver. Unable to tap financial markets, it depends on the state for funding; and the state budget heavily depends on revenue from copper mining. Copper prices, although they have rebounded from the depths of last year, are not expected to rise much more for at least two years. Meanwhile, the economy is faltering. Unemployment is 13 percent and rising.

The national government is searching for ways to exploit clean renewable energies. It proposes to offer power companies a tariff subsidy of 8 to 12 cents a kilowatt-hour to sell energy from renewables. But it has not said where the money will come from, and until it does, the companies are unlikely to invest in new wind and solar generating capacity.

Some foreign energy companies are not waiting. In June, Daesung Group, of South Korea, inaugurated a hybrid photovoltaic and wind power demonstration plant on a windswept plain 50 kilometers, or 31 miles, southeast of Ulan Bator. The plant will drive pumps drawing water from three wells to irrigate an organic farming project.

“The Green Eco-Energy Park project is designed to address three needs at the same time: to provide water, food and energy,” Daesung’s chairman, David Kim, said at an inaugural ceremony. “These needs are interrelated. In this way, we can create a virtuous circle. It starts with energy.”

Daesung sees the project as a test of technology that could lead to the greening of Mongolia’s southern portion of the Gobi Desert — and beyond that, to the reclamation of other parched, energy-starved regions in, for example, Kazakhstan and Papua New Guinea.

‘Mongolia is a microcosm of the desertification and energy poverty we see all over the world,” Mr. Kim said.

Still, the project faces huge uncertainties, including doubts about the adequacy of the aquifer on which it draws and about the viability of an economic model that looks for added revenue from local developments, like an entertainment park and the revival of a former Soviet airport.

Efforts to improve and expand the country’s existing electricity infrastructure also face big obstacles. Mongolia’s five power plants and its transmission and distribution systems are physically dilapidated and financially unsound. The whole system is about $3 billion in debt, according to expert aid officials, who say about $1.8 billion is needed to keep pace with growing electricity demand and an additional $3.5 billion to rehabilitate transmission and distribution systems.

The cash flow of the power companies is weak and raising development capital through share sales is not an option. Analysts say tariffs need to double just to cover costs, and power theft is common.

Some government officials say Ulan Bator could face a shortage of electricity and heat as soon as next year. While the government has plans to build a sixth coal-fired combined heat and power plant, and the Asian Development Bank is helping the government prepare for a tender, analysts are not optimistic about its success, following a failed earlier attempt, unless tariffs are raised to cover costs fully and generate profits.

Still, a new competitive wholesale power market could be up and running as soon as next year; USAid, the U.S. international development agency, is starting a program to train officials to operate the market, which would encourage greater efficiency — in theory bearing down on generating costs and, by discouraging wasteful fuel use, reducing pollution.
At the same time, plans are going ahead to develop Mongolia’s coal reserves, estimated at 20 billion tons, including a billion tons of coking coal. China is close to signing a deal with Mongolia to build 6,800 megawatts of power generating capacity in the Nyala basin, a coal deposit in north-central Mongolia. Ulan Bator should ultimately benefit from 300 megawatts of this capacity, with the rest exporting power to China, although start-up is probably about five years away, according to foreign aid experts.

A dozen international companies are also competing to develop the Tavan Tolgoi coking coal deposit in the southern Gobi, though no decision is expected for several years, the experts said.

Foreign aid agencies have initiated some projects to start to address the problems. Japan’s international cooperation agency is monitoring air pollution, while the French government is supplying monitoring equipment; a German agency is building model housing units to improve heat insulation; and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is developing a supply chain for briquettes. The World Bank is investing in improved stoves.

The problems, though, will probably worsen as migration to the capital continues. The most recent household income survey in 2007 and 2008 showed that half of Mongolia’s rural residents lived in poverty.

In addition to seeking economic opportunity, the rural poor are moving to the city in search of better education for their children and better health care.

“The government has not paid enough attention to social and environmental problems,” said Balganjav Kuhldorj, head of the international relations department of Mongolia’s National University and an energy adviser to the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy. “Even when the government ran a surplus in 2005 and 2006, they didn’t spend it on poverty and the environment.”

Published: October 20, 2009 in New York Times Newspaper

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