The UB POST names the 2010 Top Events in Mongolia

Written by P.Shinebayar

1. Big Construction Works Launched
The Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement has entered into effectiveness only this year, though it was passed last year.
Big construction work has launched in southern Gobi after six years of delay. Armada of giant machineries and equipment is flowing into southern Gobi. Construction work of the mine scheduled to start operation in 2012 is on the peak, while a foundation stone for ore processing plant has already been put. Ivanhoe Mines Director Robert Friedland announced that his company has already spent US$700 million in order to bring into economic circulation the Oyu Tolgoi, the largest untapped copper and gold deposit in the world. The volume of foreign direct investment to mineral industry of Mongolia has increased dramatically and it is highly expected to exceed US$1 billion. Following the Oyu Tolgoi, soil removing work has commenced in Tavan Tolgoi Coal Deposit, another biggest untapped coal deposit.

2. Mongolia – the Land of Minerals
Foreigners are wondering “Is there any mineral that cannot be found in Mongolia, out of elements listed in Mendeleev Periodic Table of Elements?” Mining industry of the country is being enriched by new horizons. Coal export volume has increased sharply, exceeding the volume of copper concentrate. Main export product has shifted from copper to coal and Mongolia announced to the rest of the world that it became an oil-exporting nation. Rare earths highly demanded by high technology manufacturers are also found in Mongolia and prospecting works are likely to intensify in coming years.
Mongolian mining companies start to successfully play at international market. Mongolian coal explorer Hunnu Coal was the best performing IPO at the Australian Securities Exchange, with its shares rising five times within few months. Price of Kharanga Resources’ shares rose by 167 percent at the first day of IPO. Mongolian Mining Corporation managed to raise US$650 million at Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

3. MPRP Changes Name.
The Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) has changed its name as ‘Mongolian People’s Party’ (MPP), after ninety years of existence. The Supreme Court of Mongolia has registered the Mongolian People’s Party, considering that MPP is the direct successor of MPRP. The public showed varying reactions to this event, the majority is positive. The most interesting thing around this was that protest came not from outside but from inside. A group of party members who are against the re-naming, set up a temporary staff of MPRP, as headed by an MP.

4. Top National Security Official Detained in UK
B.Khurts, top official of the National Security Council of Mongolia, was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London on September 17, 2010. Khurts was arrested for alleged involvement in the abduction of a Mongolian man in France who was then taken to Mongolia via Germany in 2003, under a European arrest warrant issued by German authorities. He remains in custody since September 17 in Wandsworth prison in London. First hearing of Khurts took place in Westminster Magistrates Court on September 12. After several times postponement, the trial took place on November 15, but was delayed again until January 05, 2010.

5. Outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease
This year, Mongolia has seen several outbreaks of infectious livestock diseases. The most harmful one was foot and mouth disease. The first case of the disease was recorded on April 27 in Khalkhgol Soum, Dornod Province and it spread to 25 soums of six provinces, including Sukhbaatar, Dornogobi, Khentii, Tuv, Gobi-sumber and Dornod. So far, 25,933 heads of livestock were eliminated. The Government has spent some MNT6 billion to fight the disease.

6. The 2010 Population and Housing Census
The 2010 Population and housing census was conducted successfully between November 11 and 17 2010.
The resident population of Mongolia, staff of diplomatic corps and international organizations present in Mongolia and their family members, citizens residing abroad for more than six months, and foreigners and stateless persons living in the country for long period have been counted. The online counting of Mongolian citizens working and studying abroad was carried out from October 10 to November 21, 2010.
As stipulated in the Census master plan to involve no less than 1% of the total population of Mongolia, the post enumeration covered 125 soums and 153 baghs and khoroos representing the 21 provinces and 9 districts between November 19 and 21, 2010.
Collecting and checking the census results from provinces is still underway. The National Statistical Office of Mongolia will collect all the data within the year and plans to induct some 130 employees who will be keying in the collected data. It is expected that the data entry will begin in mid-December 2010 and the preliminary results on the number of households and people counted, their age, sex, and type of their housing after consolidating the questionnaire forms and online counts will be submitted to the State census committee in February 2011 and the final results within July 2011 respectively.

7. Asashoryu Retirement from Professional Sumo
Mongolian Grand Sumo Champion and 68th Yokozuna Asashoryu (D.Dagvadorj) officially retired from professional sumo after ten years of career.
The retirement ceremony was held at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on October 3, 2010, had his topknot removed in the ceremony.
He was the 68th yokozuna in the history of the sport in Japan and became the first Mongolian to reach sumo’s highest rank in January 2003. He was one of the most successful yokozuna ever. In 2005 he became the first man to win all six official tournaments in a single year. Over his entire career, he won 25 top division tournament championships, placing him third on the all-time list.
From 2004 until 2007, Asashōryū was sumo’s sole Yokozuna.

8. 23 World Champions This Year
New stars emerged on the horizon as Mongolian track and field athletes brought unprecedented success to the country with impressive performances in Asian Games in a record breaking 2010.
The year saw Mongolian athletes bagging a record 16 medals, In particular, a total of 227 athletes of Mongolia took part in the Guanzhou-2010 Asian Games and they won two gold, five silver and nine bronze medals from the Asian Games.
Also, Mongolia had two young Olympic Champions in 2010. Freestyle wrestler B.Battsetseg and gymnast boy G.Erdenebold grabbed gold medals in the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. Altogether 11 athletes represented Mongolia in seven different sport’s events at the Olympic Games.
In total Mongolian athletes won over thirty gold medals this year from world championships, world cups and youth Olympic Games. The number of World champions alone has reached 23 so far.
Besides, Mongolia hosted the high qualified competitions and championships this year, including the World University Boxing Championships in October, the World Judo Cup in July, the 5th Asian Draught Championships in October and the 5th FIDE Women’s Grand Prix.

9. Hollywood Action Star Jackie Chan Charity Trip
On October 3-4, Hollywood action star Jackie Chan visited Mongolia for charity purpose. During his first visit to Mongolia, the Hong Kong actor extended a helping hand to orphans and poor children. He visited care centers where he gave assistance to children and the movie “Karate Kid” was screened in which he starred. Jackie Chan also joined a charity banquet and a run against air pollution.

10. UNESCO Inscription of Two Mongolian Heritages
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) inscribed Mongolian National Holiday of Naadam and Mongolian Art of Throat Singing or Khoomii in the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The 5th Meeting of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Kenya discussed and decided to inscribe these two elements nominated by Mongolia. Mongolia joined the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2005.
Mongolian traditional musical instrument or horse-headed fiddle and traditional art of singing or ‘long song’ were previously inscribed in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Source:UB Post, Mongolian Independent English Weekly Newspaper
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