Shares of Mongolia Mining Corp drops in HK stock exchange

Mongolian Mining Corp. (975 HK): Mongolia's biggest closely held coking-coal producer said Chief Executive Officer Battsengel Gotov didn't give an estimate of 2011 revenue of $700 million in press interviews, dismissing media reports of the number as "pure speculation."

The stock declined 0.2 percent to HK$9.02.

Source:Bloomberg news wire service


Russian Railways Ready to Invest $1.5 Billion in Mongolia

OAO Russian Railways, the country’s rail monopoly, is ready to invest $1.5 billion in Mongolia’s train network to help the country exploit its natural resources, Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Yakunin said.

Mongolia is expected to name the partner that will help it expand the country’s rail network in June or July, Yakunin told reporters today in Moscow. The country needs about 6,000 kilometers (3,730 miles) of tracks as it seeks to develop deposits such as those in the Tavan Tolgoi coal basin.

Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj met with Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev today at the Kremlin and will hold talks with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin later today. Russia seeks to help Mongolia tap reserves of copper, coal, iron ore and uranium to boost trade, which rose to $1 billion last year.

“We need large locomotive projects,” Medvedev said today at a news conference. “If large projects are created, including the Tavan Tolgoi deposit and others, as well as cooperation in the nuclear sphere, they will, like locomotives, draw in mid- level cooperation.”

Located in the Gobi desert, Tavan Tolgoi contains 6.5 billion tons of the coal used in steelmaking and may be the world’s biggest untapped deposit of its kind, according to the Business Council of Mongolia.

Russia and Mongolia today signed an agreement to boost the capital of their 50-50 joint venture, AO UlanBator Railways, by $250 million, Yakunin said. Talks to increase Mongolia’s share to 51 percent will continue, he said.

There has been little progress on Rosatom Corp.’s venture with Mongolia’s MonAtom to develop the Dornod uranium deposit, Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy holding company, said today.

“Unfortunately, it is moving very slowly,” Kiriyenko said, declining to elaborate.

Medvedev said he and Elbegdorj today agreed to speed up joint projects.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lyubov Pronina in Moscow at;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at

Source:Bloomberg news wire service


GTSO Moves Forward with New Rare Earth Profit Agreement with Mongolian Mining Company

Definitive Agreement to be Followed by Shipment of Rare Earths from Mongolia to South Korea

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Green Technology Solutions, Inc. (OTCQB:GTSO) President and CEO John Shearer said today that the company is close to finalizing a new profit agreement with the Mongolian mining and trading company Ar Erkhes, LLC.

“It’s very likely that we’ll announce the agreement’s signing this week in order to proceed with the first shipment of ore to South Korea.”

Last week, the two companies signed a letter of intent to participate in a profit agreement for the excavation and shipping of rare earth ore from three sites in Mongolia to South Korea. Excavation of rare earth ore for the initial shipment is currently underway at Ar Erkhes’ Avdrant mine in Mongolia’s Tuv province. Once the profit agreement is signed, 15 tons of minerals are set to be transported via rail to the international seaport of Vladivostok, Russia. From there, the ore will be shipped to South Korea.

“We’re very close to coming to terms with Ar Erkhes on this profit agreement, as both sides are very eager to move forward with our rare earth export plans,” Shearer said. “It’s very likely that we’ll announce the agreement’s signing this week in order to proceed with the first shipment of ore to South Korea.”

Rare earths are crucial to the production of wind turbines, electric engines, solar panels and other green energy solutions. The critical materials are likewise essential for the manufacture of automobiles, smartphones and military hardware. GTSO is planning the initial shipment to South Korea as the first step in gaining approval to sell rare elements to buyers there.

Green Technology Solutions commercializes clean and renewable mining technology and products in a sector that includes Rio Tinto plc (NYSE: RIO), MV Rare Earth/Strategic Metals (NYSEArca: REMX), United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) and Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT).

About Green Technology Solutions, Inc.

The next generation of green technology—electric car batteries, wind turbine generators, photovoltaic solar panels—is made possible by precious elements mined from the earth’s crust, and the world’s dependence on these substances is rising fast. Today, these rare elements largely come from some of the most environmentally damaging mines in the world. Green Technology Solutions, Inc. offers clean mining solutions to the acquisition of rare earths, gold and other materials used in the latest green-tech innovations. Our cutting-edge clean mining techniques and strategies are generating business leads from around the globe as governments and corporations seek to lessen the environmental impacts of ore mining. GTSO is positioned to capitalize on exciting and potentially lucrative opportunities to develop cleaner mines in emerging nations around the world, including Mongolia, the Republic of Congo and many more. Our company is focused on aggressively growing and diversifying our business in order to produce green mining solutions for our clients on a global scale.

Green Technology Solutions, Inc. (GTSO) is an OTCQB publicly traded company. OTCQB is the middle tier of the OTC market. OTCQB companies report to the SEC or a U.S. banking regulator, making it easy for investors to identify companies that are current in their reporting obligations. GTSO acquires, develops and implements the newest clean mining technology to enable our partner clients to expand operations throughout the world. Environmental restrictions represent the largest restriction to mining industry growth and operations. GTSO focuses on overcoming these environmental restrictions with brilliant cutting-edge clean mining technology.

For more information, please visit

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including statements that include the words “believes,” “expects,” “anticipate” or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In addition, description of anyone’s past success, either financial or strategic, is no guarantee of future success. This news release speaks as of the date first set forth above and the company assumes no responsibility to update the information included herein for events occurring after the date hereof.


Russia Rail may spend $1.5 bln in Mongolia coal project

MOSCOW May 31 (Reuters) - A consortium of investors including Russian Railways (RZhD) are ready to spend up to $1.5 billion on rail infrastructure in Mongolia if the group wins a bid for the Tavan Tolgoi coal field, RZhD said on Tuesday.

RZhD head Vladimir Yakunin also told journalists that Mongolia will decide on the list of final bidders in June or July for the railway infrastructure project to ship coal from the field.

Mongolia is in the process of deciding how to develop the massive Tavan Tolgoi field, which holds about 7.5 billion tonnes of coking coal. (Reporting by Alfred Kueppers)

Source:Reuters news wire service


China Makes Effort to Cool Unrest in Inner Mongolia


HOHHOT, China—Authorities in Inner Mongolia sought to calm some of the worst ethnic strife in two decades by pledging to address concerns of the local Mongol population about the environmental costs of mining in the resource-rich region, and by announcing that a Han Chinese will be tried for murder over the death of a young Mongol man.

Police in riot gear on Monday sealed off the main square of Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia that has been transformed over the past several years into a boomtown amid strong demand for the region's coal and other natural resources to fuel China's rapid industrial growth.

Hundreds of People's Armed Police in camouflage uniform stood at attention at five-meter intervals around the perimeter of Xinhua Square. Hundreds more riot police dressed in black patrolled the square. Police buses with tinted windows waited nearby.

More than a hundred police in armored personnel carriers and many clad in riot gear waited outside the main entrance of Inner Mongolia Nationality University Monday night. Non-students were prevented from entering the campus, where many ethnic Mongolians students study, and cellphone data communication was cut off.

Outside the university gates, two second-year Mongol students sat sipping beers, chewing on grilled lamb and watching police. They said unrest in other parts of Inner Mongolia was a hot topic among the Mongol university students, but said it seemed unlikely that the protests would spread to Hohhot, where the police and military presence was more substantial than in the countryside. Still, they said, in places where Chinese influence had grown so large, they could never feel at home.

The unrest "is not an economic matter," one of the students said. "It's about protecting the environment, protecting our traditional culture."

The deaths of two ethnic Mongolians at the hands of Chinese workers earlier this month set off the kind of ethnic upheaval that has plagued Muslim and Tibetan areas in the far west of China in recent years, and threatened to open a new front in a long struggle by authorities to maintain control along China's strategically sensitive periphery.

"Our situation is just like the ones in Xinjiang and Tibet," said a Mongolian shopkeeper selling dried meats on the square. "Ours just isn't as severe," she said. She declined to say whether she supported the protesters.

The security forces were responding to Internet calls for demonstrations in the city after a week of student-led protests in other parts of the vast region bordering Mongolia and Russia in northeast China.
Internet censors blocked calls for protests on China's most popular microblogging services. Search terms including "Inner Mongolia" remained blocked Monday on Sina Weibo, China's most active Twitter-like website.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported Monday that Inner Mongolia's government will investigate the impact of the mining industry on the livelihoods of local people, which is at the heart of recent disputes. It didn't provide details on potential policy changes, but is the government's first response to protestors who complain that economic development at breakneck speed and unrestrained mining activities are destroying local lands and traditional Mongolian culture.

Mongolians, who today make up less than 20% of the region's population, have traditionally used its sweeping grasslands for animal grazing and herding.

Barry Sautman, an expert on ethnic Chinese politics at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said the protests are rooted in a desire to protect traditional Mongolian culture. Conflicts between local populations and miners aren't unique to Inner Mongolia, he said, but the situation "takes on an ethnic dimension" when companies are being run by Han Chinese and those who feel victimized are predominantly Mongolian.

Deadly riots in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, in 2008 were partly inspired by Tibetan resentment against competition from Chinese merchants and laborers, as well as by more generalized fears that Han Chinese settlers are overrunning Tibetan culture.

In Xinjiang, there is widespread discontent among the Muslim population that the region's oil riches are being carried away into the rest of China. In July 2009, nearly 200 people were killed in fighting between ethnic Uighurs and Han Chinese.

The deaths of two ethnic Mongolians this month brought to the forefront ethnic tensions bubbling beneath the surface in Inner Mongolia.

In one incident, a local herdsman, who like many Mongolians went by one name, Mergen, was struck and killed by a Chinese coal-truck driver following local complaints that the trucks were noisy and damaging the local environment, according to Xinhua. Police arrested the Chinese driver and a passenger, who attempted to flee.

In a second incident, Xinhua reported Monday that the driver of a forklift truck ran over an ethnic Mongolian man, Yan Wenlong, during a clash on May 15 over noise, dust and water pollution at a local mine. The clashes occurred in Abag banner, near the small city of Xilinhot. A banner is a traditional Mongolian division of land, roughly equivalent to a county in China, the basic level of administration. Xinhua said the driver has been charged with murder and will stand trial.

Inner Mongolia, China's third-largest province—officially designated an "autonomous region"—, is among its fastest-growing economically. It is already among the country's top coal-producing regions, with annual output of about 600 million metric tons. China's government says the region has 730 billion metric tons of verified coal deposits—increasingly needed to fuel the country's economic growth.

The region is also a key producer of so-called rare-earth elements, which are increasingly in demand in high-tech manufacturing, and are almost exclusively mined in China, which accounts for about 97% of global output.

Write to Brian Spegele at

Source:Wall Street Journal


Protests break calm in China's Inner Mongolia area


BEIJING – Calls for justice by Mongols in the resource-rich, prosperous borderland of northern China have shattered the calm there to which Chinese leaders have grown accustomed.

Clashes that left two Mongols dead in mid-May triggered protests in several cities and towns last week that have become the largest demonstrations in the Inner Mongolia region in 20 years. The government has responded with a broad clampdown, pouring police into the streets, disrupting Internet service and confining high school and university students to campus.

The strategy appeared to thwart a major demonstration Monday in the regional capital of Hohhot, though a witness said students attempted to protest in one place but were turned back by police.

It's a rattling turn of events for Chinese leaders, who have long battled ethnic unrest by Tibetans and Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang but who have seen Inner Mongolia as a model, its economy booming and its Mongols integrated into the mainstream. On Monday, President Hu Jintao gathered the Communist Party's powerful Politburo to discuss what it said is the urgent need to reduce social tensions and promote fairness.

The stress on economic success that made Chinese leaders complacent and many Mongols satisfied — and a lack of interest in pushing minority rights — is fueling the strains that have burst into the open.

"It should not happen that we only focus on the economic development, but care less about the interests of the minority people," said Yang Jianxin, an expert on ethnic relations at Lanzhou University in western China.

A mining boom has enriched some but pushed further to the margins an already dwindling number of herders — whose roaming the grasslands with their herds of cattle, goats and sheep lies at the core of Mongol identity. Meanwhile a new generation of Mongol students is coming of age wired to the Internet in a time of relative affluence and are questioning what it means to be Mongol.

"Tensions in Inner Mongolia have been rising under the surface for many years. These are classic issues that you see in many places related to policies toward minorities," Human Rights Watch Asian researcher Nicholas Bequelin said.

Inner Mongolia, with its grasslands and deserts, runs across northern China, separating it from the independent country of Mongolia. For centuries, Chinese rulers have long cast a wary eye north, fearing the nomadic tribes that periodically swept south and toppled dynasties.

Members of China's Han majority trickled into Inner Mongolia, often fleeing famine and poverty. But the flow increased after the founding of the communist state founded in 1949, and has turned into a flood in recent years on the back of boom in mining, especially of coal.

Coal production has soared threefold over the past five years, reaching 782 million tons last year, making it the leading producer of China's main energy source, according to government statistics. Mongols today make up less than 20 percent of the region's population of 24 million and many speak little or no Mongolian as a result of being educated in Chinese — a fate Tibetans and Xinjiang's native Turkic Muslim Uighurs fear befalling them.

Unlike Tibet and Xinjiang, which have exploded in violent anti-government protests in recent years, Inner Mongolia had been generally quiet. That's partly due to the perception among Mongols that they were better off under Chinese rule than their ethnic brethren in impoverished Mongolia, said Barry Sautman of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

While annual per capita GDP in Inner Mongolia exceeded $7,000 in 2010, more than triple that of Mongolia, more ethnic Mongols now seem to be questioning the system under which they live, said Sautman.

The current protest movement "could serve to reinforce Mongol identity and revive calls for protecting pastoralism as an aspect of the culture," Sautman said.

The last time China's Mongols took their cues from north of the border was 20 years ago when Mongolia sloughed off its status as a Soviet client state in a peaceful democratic revolution. Some Mongols have fled northward. About 30 Inner Mongolian exiles and members of an ultranationalist Mongolian political party staged a sympathy protest Sunday in the Mongolia's capital of Ulan Bator. Among their demands: protecting pasturelands and securing the indigenous rights of Mongols in Inner Mongolia, in an echo of the Inner Mongolian protesters' calls for preserving the herding lifestyle and strengthening protections for the Mongolian language and traditional Buddhist culture.

Inner Mongolians who have sought to organize politically have been ruthlessly suppressed. One of the region's best known ethnic nationalists, Hada, just completed a 15-year prison sentence for spying and separatism but remains detained in an undisclosed location.

Government policies in some cases meant to help have further alienated many Mongolians. Limits on the size of herds intended to preserve grazing land are deeply unpopular because they reduce rural incomes, meanwhile mining concessions are given out to Chinese, said Becquelin, the Human Rights Watch researher.

Moves to fence in pastures and relocate herders to more remote areas have backfired by causing overgrazing and making it more difficult to move animal products to market, he said.

The flashpoints for the latest unrest came from the mining boom. On May 10, herders angry at coal haulers for driving over their grazing lands blocked a road and one truck driver struck and killed a herder. A few days later, a group of Mongols went to a coal mine to complain and got into a fight in which a Chinese miner rammed a forklift into one of the Mongols, killing him.

Authorities have arrested two Chinese in the first death and said Monday that a Chinese miner would be put on trial for murder in the second case. The swiftness of the response highlights how worried Chinese leaders are.

At Monday's meeting, the Politburo said easing social tensions and promoting fairness is critical. "Solving these problems is both urgent and demands long-term effort," it said.

Source:AP news wire service


China's Inner Mongolia region under heavy security

BEIJING – Authorities poured more police into the streets and slowed Internet service in several parts of China's Inner Mongolia on Monday, trying to head off more protests in a resource-rich borderland not usually troubled by ethnic tensions.

Large numbers of police patrolled the regional capital, Hohhot, especially around the main square, where Internet messages over the weekend urged people to gather in protest Monday, people reached by phone said. In Chifeng city, where a rights group said hundreds protested Sunday, police were everywhere, residents reached by phone said.

People in both cities complained that the Internet was inaccessible or slow.

"We lost access to the Internet. And there's no point in going to the Internet cafes since they have suspended business because the Internet is down there too," said a waitress at the Laozhuancun restaurant around the corner from government offices in Chifeng. She would only give her surname, Wang.

The controls in Hohhot and Chifeng widen the security measures applied to a more remote part of Inner Mongolia to stop demonstrations believed to be the largest in the region in 20 years. The protests started after a Chinese truck driver struck and killed a Mongolian herder and soon came to encompass calls for ethnic rights — a worrisome development to China's authorities battling persistent nationalism in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Trying to calm tensions, Inner Mongolia's Communist Party chief took the unusual step of meeting with students and teachers in a town that staged one of the largest protests last week. At the Friday meeting, Hu Chunhua promised swift punishment to perpetrators in two cases in the Xilin Gol area that angered local residents, the state-run Inner Mongolia Daily reported Sunday.

Though he did not specify, the two cases Hu is understood to be referring to were the herder's death and the death of a resident in a mining area over a coal mine dispute. Local authorities had earlier this week announced arrests in both cases.

"Teachers and students, please rest assured that the suspects will be punished severely and quickly, in accordance with legal procedures, to resolutely safeguard the dignity of the law and rights of the victims and their families," the report cited Hu as saying.

Inner Mongolia, a sprawling area of pasturelands that sits atop northern China bordering the independent nation of Mongolia, has seen a boom in the mining of coal and rare earths in recent years. That has drawn more workers into the region, further degraded the grasslands where herders grazed their sheep and cattle and made Mongols feels that their ethnic identity is under threat.

Those complaints echo ones from places like Tibet and Xinjiang. But unlike Tibetans in Tibet and Uighurs in Xinjiang, ethnic Mongolians are a small minority, fewer than 20 percent of the 24 million who live in Inner Mongolia. Many speak little or no Mongolian, having been educated in Chinese school systems.

On May 10, herders angry at truckers for driving over their grazing lands blocked a road, and one truck driver struck and killed a herder. Authorities later arrested two Chinese in the death.

In the other case, residents in a mining area tried on May 14 to stop a coal mine's operations because of the air and water pollution it was causing, but one of them was killed after a mine worker drove a forklift truck into his car, state media earlier reported. The miner was arrested.

Source:AP news service


Herder's death deepens tensions in Inner Mongolia

Protests erupt after Mongolian herder run over by coal truck as he tried to stop mining convoy driving across prairie land

By Jonathan Watts in Xilinhot

Outside the closed gates of the Xilingol Mongolian high school, Chinese police watched warily as hundreds of students performed calisthenic exercises in a yard they had left the previous day to march through the streets. A short drive along the city's boulevards, another police unit was monitoring a middle school that was suddenly a source of concern. On the grasslands, patrol cars blocked access to a troubled community of herders and miners.

The security forces in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of China, are on a state of high alert after the biggest wave of demonstrations here in 20 years, sparked by a killing that symbolises the traumatic transition of Mongolia's nomadic grasslands into China's most important mining powerhouse.

On 11 May, a Han Chinese coal-truck driver ran over a 35-year-old Mongolian herder, known as Mergen, as he tried to prevent a convoy from driving across fenced prairies in Xiwu.

Allegations that the killing was deliberate have inflamed passions in the indigenous Mongolian community, which has been squeezed out of much of the land in the past half century.

Protests have erupted in at least three places. Online video clips ( posted by overseas supporters show herders being arrested after a face-off with military police in Ujumchin last week. According to overseas groups, crowds also took to the streets in Huveet Shar on Thursday and Shuluun Huh on Friday with banners declaring, "defend the rights of Mongols" and "defend the homeland".

But the biggest protest was in Xilinhot, where 1,000 students in yellow and blue uniforms marched through the broad streets to the government headquarters on Wednesday.

"This was the largest protest since 1991," said Enghebatu Togochog, director of the US-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre, which calls for more autonomy for the region and respect for traditional lifestyles. "There are increasing conflicts between herders and miners as the authorities open up more mines in the grasslands to meet their goal of turning Inner Mongolia into the nation's energy base."

In recent years, Inner Mongolia – a vast area of steppe grasslands and Gobi desert in northern China – has become the nation's leading producer of coal and rare earths.

Details of the killing that sparked the demonstrations are sketchy, second-hand and may have been exaggerated by internet rumours and a lack of trust in censored official news. Locals said that Mergen was leading about 40 herders who tried to block a convoy of coal trucks from the Tongcheng number two colliery. The drivers had reportedly run down fences and intruded on the nomads' land to avoid a bumpy road. After a protracted stand-off, the drivers are said to have crashed through the herders, killing Mergen.

One widely cited, but unverifiable claim, is that the driver boasted that he was sufficiently insured to cover the death of a "smelly Mongolian herder".

The author of this report – a Mongolian blogger named Zorigt – wrote: "In order to take a shortcut, these coal-hauling trucks have randomly run over local herders' grazing lands, not only killing numerous heads of livestock but also further damaging the already-weakened fragile grassland."

Students place more faith in such blogs than the government's version of events. "We are very angry. They killed him on purpose and dragged him along the ground for more than 100 metres. This has made us realise that Mongolian lives are worthless," said a 16-year-old female student from the Xilingol Mongolian high school. "If this issue is not resolved, there will be more protests."

Many of the students are from herding families who have been moved into cities as the wide-open pastures are fenced off. The government says such measures are necessary to promote development, prevent overgrazing and protect the fragile grasslands, much of which have turned to desert in recent decades.

Locals say herders' rights have been violated and the fencing and mining have created bigger environmental problems, including pollution, noise, traffic and dust storms that blow across much of north-east Asia.

The transformation is evident on the flight to Xilinhot. From the air, the grasslands are blotched with sandy areas near farm settlements and the dark smudges of open-cast pits run by the Datang and Shenhua mining companies. From the road, the clouds of dust from the mines and the trucks is visible miles away.

Mergen's death has turned him into a martyr for those who are unhappy with the loss and degradation of land. "He is a hero," said another female student in a yellow uniform. "I don't like to see barriers between Han and Mongols, but sometimes it is necessary to fight for your land."

Anger at the killing is focused on the truckers and the mining firms. It does not appear to have set the two main ethnic groups against one another. Many Han residents said they supported the Mongolian students, whose demonstration was peaceful. Shopkeepers said they provided free food and drink to the marchers. Taxi drivers expressed sympathy for their cause, and a restaurant owner spoke of the need for justice. But others were worried that the situation might deteriorate.

Mongolian activists have called for rolling protests through the region, cumulating in a rally in Genghis Khan Square in Hulunbuir on Monday.

The authorities have tried to placate the protesters by arresting four men for the killing and grasslands damage, and with a promise of a full investigation and compensation for the bereaved.

Mergen's brother said the family had been given money, but declined to say how much. "I don't want to answer any more questions about this," he said by phone.

Local radio stations run frequent bulletins about the police investigation, but there are few details and little transparency. An official at the Xilinhot propaganda department claimed to be unaware of any protests. The phone rang unanswered at other government offices.

Outsiders are unwelcome. The Guardian was blocked on the road into Xiwuzhumuxinqin, where Mergen was killed. "Special circumstances. You're not allowed in. It's not safe," said a police officer. At 4.30am the following morning, two plain-clothes police entered the Guardian's hotel room, woke this correspondent and tried to conduct an interrogation.

Chinese authorities are nervous about any sign of unrest in areas with large ethnic minorities, such as Tibet and Xinjiang, which also experience tensions between local herders and mining settlers. Inner Mongolia is usually considered less of a security threat because its overseas supporters are less vocal in calling for independence, it does not have a charismatic leader such as the Dalai Lama and its indigenous community has already been numerically overwhelmed by an influx of Han migrants who now comprise 79% of the population.

But there is a heavy security presence, and police are ruthless in quashing dissent. Last December, the region's most famous writer and activist, Hada, was due for release from prison after a 15-year term, but he has not been seen since and is presumed to be under house arrest.

The government's unease – and heavy-handed crackdown on protests and journalists – has also been sharpened by online calls this year for a "jasmine revolution" in China. Unrelated protests over land seizures, pollution and unemployment remain a major concern, most recently focused on home-made bomb explosions at three government offices in Fuzhou.
Mongolia: Inner and outer or southern and northern?

Inner Mongolia – a vast region of steppe grassland and Gobi desert – lies on the Chinese side of a historically shifting border between northern Mongolian nomads and southern Han agriculturalists. Once marked by the Great Wall, this boundary has been pushed hundreds of miles north. Independence activists refer to this area as Southern Mongolia and hope that it can be united with the neighbouring nation of Mongolia – once known as Outer Mongolia. But the demographic trends are in the opposite direction. Centuries of inward migration have given the region a population that is about 80% Han.


Parts of China's Inner Mongolia "under martial law" as protests spread

* China's Mongolians protest for 5th day in rare sign of defiance

* Students locked up in some schools to prevent participation in protests

* Resource extraction has eroded way of life for Mongolians -exiled Mongolian (Refiles, changing headline)

By Ben Blanchard and Sui-Lee Wee

BEIJING, May 27 (Reuters) - Chinese authorities sealed off parts of the northern region of Inner Mongolia on Friday in what residents described as martial law, to try to quell a fifth day of protests by ethnic Mongolians over the death of a herder in a hit-and-run accident.
China keeps a tight grip over Inner Mongolia and other strategic border regions including Tibet and Xinjiang, which are home to large numbers of ethnic minorities, as well as being rich in natural resources.

But China's Mongolians, who make up less than 20 percent of the roughly 24 million population of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, rarely take to the streets, unlike Tibetans or Xinjiang's Uighurs, making the latest protests highly unusual.

Residents in Shuluun Huh Banner, or Zheng Lan Qi in Chinese, and Left Ujumchin Banner, or Xi Wu Qi in Chinese, near Inner Mongolia's Xilinhot city, told Reuters that martial law was imposed on Friday. Banner is a traditional term for county.

"There was martial law declared this morning," said one resident of Shuluun Huh Banner who gave her name as Tana. "It's still ongoing with fewer guards right now, but some police are on the street."

Despite this, hundreds of Mongolians defied the tighter security and marched towards the government building in Shuluun Huh Banner before noon, said Enghebatu Togochog of the New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre.

"Students have been locked up in their schools and they aren't allowed to join in their protests," Togochog said, adding that one or two high schools and several middle schools have been sealed off.

Asked to comment on the protests, an official answering the telephone at the Inner Mongolia government's propaganda office said: "I have no time, goodbye," before hanging up.

An official at the Left Ujumchin Banner, where protests took place on Thursday, also hung up on being asked about the protests. Repeated calls to the Shuluun Huh government were not answered.


"It has been in a state of siege since this morning, everything was fine here yesterday," said a resident surnamed Zhou in Ujumchin Banner. "At the moment, police are patrolling the street."

An official in the bus station near the government building in Left Ujumchin Banner, who refused to give her name, said all buses had stopped since the morning because of martial law.

The protests were set off by the death earlier this month of a Mongolian herder, Mergen, who was killed when he was struck by a coal truck. The government has announced the arrest of two Han Chinese for homicide, though this has failed to stem public anger.

The latest demonstrations have broadened their scope, with those taking part demanding greater official protection for their culture and traditional way of life.

Inner Mongolia, which covers more than a tenth of China's land mass and borders Mongolia proper, is supposed to offer a high degree of self-rule.

In practice, though, Mongolians say the Han Chinese majority run the show and have been the main beneficiaries of economic development.

Inner Mongolia is China's largest producer of coal, a commodity that feeds well over half the country's power plants and on which China depends for its breakneck economic growth.

"The rapid development of resource extraction has resulted in a terrible blow to the interests of the Mongolians," Tumen-ulzii, an ethnic Mongolian Chinese living in exile in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator, told Reuters by telephone.

"People just can't stand it any more," he said. "They have no way of following their traditional way of life. The death of Mergen has become a spark, it has united the whole Mongolian people (in China)." (Additional reporting by Huang Yan and Sabrina Mao; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source:Reuters news wire service


Mongolia faces critical diesel shortage

By Simon Rabinovitch and Leslie Hook

Mongolia is running critically low on diesel after Russian deliveries failed to arrive, a development that threatens to crimp mining activity in the resource-rich country.

The Mongolian government has ordered a temporary halt of diesel supplies to some miners and has dipped into its emergency stockpile, according to Mongolian state media. In the capital of Ulan Bator, public bus fares were raised by 33 per cent.

The shortage reflects how oil supply troubles in Russia are spreading to neighbouring countries after Moscow recently slapped a prohibitive duty on petrol exports. China this month also banned diesel exports as stubbornly high crude prices threaten domestic supplies.

The diesel shortages in Mongolia have already affected the booming sector. Enebish Baasngombo, executive director of Erdenes MGL, the company developing Tavan Tolgoi – Mongolia’s flagship coal deposit, which is expected to have an initial public listing early next year – said operations had seen “some” impact from the shortage.

Another person familiar with the situation said there had not been an immediate impact on mining activities at Oyu Tolgoi, a large copper and gold deposit operated by Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe, but said mine operators were in discussions with the government to ensure adequate fuel supplies.

The Mongolian government expressed confidence that a solution would soon be found. But the shortfall comes at a difficult time, with diesel demand from construction, agriculture and mining peaking during the temperate summer months when temperatures are high enough to allow people to easily work outdoors.

Zorigt Dashdorgj, minister of mineral resources and energy, said that Mongolia was talking to China and Russia to secure additional supplies of diesel.

“By the end of next week, things will be back to normal,” said Mr Zorigt. “The Russians are working very hard … to make sure that Mongolia receives diesel in an amount that can satisfy the needs that we have.”

Highlighting the scarcity, SouthGobi Resources, a company listed in Toronto and Hong Kong, this month said its fuel supplier had declared force majeure after the cut in Russian exports. Drawing on its own reserves and an alternative supplier, SouthGobi said it would be able to continue normal operations for roughly 45 days.

With SouthGobi’s mine a short distance from the Chinese border, customers are able to fuel their trucks in China, pick up coal and drive it out of Mongolia without needing additional diesel, an official said. But the Tavan Tolgoi area is much further inland and delivery trucks would struggle to make it in and out of the country without fuelling up.

Faced by fuel shortages of its own, Russia, the world’s largest oil producer, raised a fuel export tax by 44 per cent this month. Vladimir Putin, prime minister, has criticised Russia’s oil groups, saying there was no lack of oil but that companies had restricted supplies to keep prices high. Mongolian President Elbegdorj will visit Russia from May 30 on a prescheduled official visit.

Source:Financial Times


Mongolia and NATO hold High-level talks in Ulaanbaatar

Mongolian and Nato military officials in Ulaanbaatar

The NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, Mr. James Appathurai, travelled to to Ulaanbaatar from 25-27 May 2011 for the first high-level talks between Mongolia and NATO.

He met with the President of Mongolia, Mr. Tsakhia Elbegdorj in order to discuss Mongolia’s proposals for the development of a partnership with NATO. Mr. Appathurai also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Gombojav Zandanshatar, the Minister of Defence Mr. Luvsanvandan Bold, with Secretary of the National Security Council Mr. Ulziisaikhan Enkhtuvshin, and with the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Security and Foreign Policy Committee Mr. Yaichil Batsuuri.

During the visit, Mr. Appathurai also discussed ideas for specific Science for Peace and Security projects with the Secretary General of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences.

Mongolia is a valued contributor to NATO-led operations. Earlier this month, Mongolia dispatched an infantry platoon to provide flight-line security to Kabul International Airport. Mongolia has participated in NATO’s ISAF operation in Afghanistan with important contributions to force protection in the Feyzabad area since March 2010 and has sent infantry, artillery and air mentor trainers to the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan in Kabul. From December 2005 to March 2007, Mongolia paid a valuable contribution to the NATO-led KFOR operation in Kosovo with an embedded platoon within the Belgian contingent. (NATO)


Statement by H.E. Ms. Enkhtsetseg Ochir, Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations, Head of the Delegation to the XVI Ministerial Conference and the Commemorative Meeting of the 50th Anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement

Enkhtsetseg Ochir, Permanent Representative of  Mongolia to the United Nations, Head of  the Delegation to the XVI Ministerial Conference

Bali, Indonesia, 26 May 2011

Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by expressing our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Government and people of the Republic of Indonesia, the birth place of the historic Bandung Principles, for the excellent arrangements made for this conference and gracious hospitality extended to us. May I also join others in commending the able stewardship displayed by Egypt as Chair of the Movement.

We welcome into our midst the newest members of the Movement - the Republic of Fiji and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Mr. Chairman,

As we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of NAM my delegation wishes to pay a solemn tribute to its founders for their vision, leadership and dedication to establishing a peaceful, prosperous and equitable world. Over the past five decades the NAM has come to represent an influential political force coordinating the concerted efforts of its Member States in the face of global challenges. The Movement, albeit its ups and downs, has a remarkable record of accomplishments. It has played a key role as its Member States stood united on the issues of decolonisation, apartheid, the situation in the Middle East including the Question of Palestine, the maintenance of international peace and security, disarmament and others.

The values, principles and objectives of the Movement have stood the test of time remaining as relevant and enduring as ever. Mongolia shares the common vision for NAM’s future outlined in the Commemorative Declaration. We have been further inspired by the inaugural address by His Excellency Dr.Susilo Bambamg Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia, sharing with us a new vision and approach for NAM in the 21st century to assert itself as a proactive force in advancing a culture of global peace and security, promoting democracy and good governance, and ensuring an equitable global prosperity.

Likewise, my delegation welcomes the clear articulation by H.E. Dr. Marty M. Natalegawa, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Indonesia, of the specific ways and means to be vigorously pursued by the Movement in attaining the above goals. Multilateralism, partnership and engagement, greater responsiveness to the real needs and interests of the peoples should, indeed, guide our Movement as we continue our journey in this increasingly interdependent and rapidly changing world.

The Commemorative Declaration also emphasizes the critical need to enhance the role of the NAM so that it can help develop adequate and sustainable responses to multitude of complex challenges, both existing and emerging, be it poverty or natural disasters, inequality or conflicts, multiple crises of food, finance, energy or climate change.

Mr. Chairman,

Achieving the MDGs by 2015 and facilitating sustainable development in the face of interlinked global crises are an urgent priority that we all share. Hence, we ought to strengthen our cooperation on the development front, making it all the more important for NAM to expand cooperation and partnership, both South-South and North-South, and enhance its interaction with G-77 through the Joint Coordinating Committee.

Mongolia is proud to be contributing to South-South cooperation by promoting the interests of landlocked developing countries (LLDCs). It goes without saying that increased analytical capability is essential to evidence-based decision-making. With this in mind, Mongolia initiated setting up an International Think Tank of LLDCs. It was launched jointly by Mongolia’s Foreign Minister and the UN Secretary-General in Ulaanbaatar in 2009, followed by the conclusion of the Multilateral Agreement. The Think Tank will be operationalized, as soon as the Agreement enters into force and the Group agrees on further modalities. Mongolia signed the Agreement on 25 April last and encourages the other LLDCs - members of the Movement - to do so at their earliest opportunity.

Last April Mongolia hosted in cooperation with the ESCAP the first-ever High-level Policy Dialogue of Asia-Pacific landlocked developing countries. The meeting adopted an action-oriented Ulaanbaatar Declaration, which identified concrete ways to facilitate the implementation of the Almaty Program of Action in the region.

Mr. Chairman,

Mongolia shares the Movement’s stance for a stronger United Nations. Revitalization of the General Assembly must be further pursued so that its decisions have more practical and meaningful impact on the lives of people. The role of the Economic and Social Council in global economic decision-making must be enhanced. The early reform of the Security Council aimed at making it more representative of the current world’s reality will certainly be a critical boost to reaffirming the central role of the UN in global governance. Mongolia stands for a just and equitable enlargement of the Security Council by increasing both its permanent and non-permanent seats.

Mr. Chairman,

The NAM has long-standing principled position that the establishment of NWFZs constitutes an important step towards strengthening nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. My delegation believes that the effectiveness of such zones could be further promoted by closer coordination and cooperation between them. There have already been two Conferences of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia held in Mexico (2005) and New York (2010) respectively. At their Second Conference, the participants agreed to foster their cooperation to fully implement the principles and objectives of the treaties establishing the zones and exchange information in areas of mutual interest.

Mongolia has been pursuing the policy aimed at institutionalizing its NWFS. It is our hope that with the support and solidarity displayed by the Movement, we will be able to advance further along this road.

Mr. Chairman,

Through the Bali Commemorative Declaration and Final Document, the NAM Member States have reaffirmed their resolve to work collectively for the promotion of democracy as a universal value as the freely expressed will of the people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems. In this regard, I am pleased to inform this august body that Mongolia will be assuming the Chairmanship of the Community of Democracies from July this year until mid-2013. During our chairmanship, we intend to work together with the International Conference of New or Restored Democracies, the Bali Democracy Forum, the Asia-Pacific Democracy Partnership and other relevant forums.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation views the Bali Final Document as a comprehensive reflection of our common positions on relevant international issues. I would like to commend the excellent manner in which the consultations were held both in New York and here in Bali. We are particularly pleased that my delegation’s proposals on several issues of common interest have once again enjoyed strong support of the Movement, including those related to attaining the objectives of the UN Literacy Decade, promoting democracy, improving the situation of rural women, advancing the interests of landlocked developing countries and Mongolia’s nuclear-weapon-free status.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to reiterate Mongolia’s firm commitment to the ideals that our Movement holds dear.

Source: Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Sheep Eats

Trying to get through a traditional Mongolian feast.

By Catherine Price

One afternoon in Ulaan Baatar, Otgoo invited my husband and me to a traditional Mongolian feast. Otgoo, a friend of our host family, had given us tours of little-known temples; she'd helped us bargain for belt buckles in Naran Tuul, an enormous outdoor market. Young and fashionable, she'd even brought us to her favorite nightclub—a slick bar where, at the stroke of midnight, a pair of teenagers emerged in 1950s costumes and performed a choreographed swing dance to "I've Had the Time of My Life." She was, in short, an excellent guide. So naturally we said yes.

"Good," Otgoo said, as we nodded from the back seat. "We will get a sheep."

Her phrasing—"get a sheep" instead of "buy some meat" —should have set off warning bells. But even if I'd realized what she was saying, I still would have accepted her invitation. We were in Mongolia, after all.
Several days later, Otgoo, Peter, and I set out to meet some of our host family's relatives. A driver took us to the outskirts of the city, where the concrete buildings of central Ulaan Baatur gradually gave way to dirt roads, wooden houses, and white gers—traditional round, felt tents in which many Mongolians still live. Plumes of smoke wafted upward from wood-burning stoves, and outhouses sat in many of the yards. We turned down a narrow, bumpy street and pulled onto the grass outside a home that was indistinguishable from its neighbors except for one important feature: a sheep, alone, tied to the fence, and very much alive. With a black muzzle and cute, droopy ears, it was the type of creature you might find at a petting zoo. But its frightened posture indicated that it knew this was not what its future held.

"There it is!" said Otgoo, happily. Then, in a high-pitched voice, presumably of the sheep: "Peter and Catherine, I am waiting for you!"

Now, I knew from Otgoo's original invitation that the food for the feast was not likely to come plastic-wrapped. And I think it's important to connect animal products, especially meat, to the creatures that provided them. But I'm a city dweller, not a farmer, which means that aside from a one-time experience eating road kill, I don't encounter my bacon until it's arrived at the grocery store. Standing face-to-face with the creature that would soon become my dinner made me realize that everyone has a line of how close they really want to get to their meat—and mine falls somewhere between lamb kofta and the animal that stood before us in the yard.

After welcoming us inside, the man of the house picked up his knife. It was a small knife, similar in size to what I'd use to slice a peach, and was barely noticeable in his hand as he pushed open the door and walked toward the fence. Meanwhile, the female family members disappeared into the kitchen—women don't usually witness the killing, Otgoo told me. I started to follow her, but then turned around. I felt that I needed to watch—not just out of respect for the sheep, for whose death I was indirectly responsible, but out of support for Peter. Male guests weren't just allowed to see the slaughter; they were expected to participate.

I stood in the doorway as our host dragged the sheep to the middle of the yard. With Peter holding one rear leg and the family's driver holding the other, he plopped the sheep on its haunches and ripped out tufts of fur from its stomach—a pre-surgery shave. Then he cut a deep incision just under its ribs and plunged his arm elbow-deep into its chest.

In Mongolia, blood is considered a valuable food that should not be wasted. Hence their preferred method of slaughter: cut a hole under the ribcage and, with your arm deep inside the animal's body, use a finger to sever the aorta. The heart, unaware of what's happened, continues to pump blood into the chest cavity until the animal dies. It is difficult to watch—especially if, like me, you mistakenly believe the goal is to actually pull out the heart, Temple of Doom-style, and thus feel horrified when your host's arm emerges empty-handed. But as grisly as the technique may sound, it is surprisingly efficient: Within 10 seconds, the sheep was dead.

Part of me hoped that the sheep's body would be taken somewhere out of sight for butchering, emerging hours later as part of a savory potpie. Instead, the host used the same small knife to cut up the body right there on the lawn. He started by pulling off the hide and chopping off the sheep's hooves, leaving the skin on the ground as a drop cloth to keep the meat off the grass. A neat and methodical disassembly followed, with nearly every organ carefully preserved. With the exception of our host's 2-year-old daughter (who was watching from the car), the entire family participated: The women brought out buckets of water and scrubbed the grass-filled stomach; the men used a funnel to flush out the small intestine, then coiled it into a neat bundle and tied it to itself like a climbing rope.

The effort the family put into cleaning the colon made it clear that Mongolians and Americans have very different tastes—items that seem exotic to us (sweetbreads! pork jowl!) barely qualify for the kids' menu. Whenever I asked Otgoo about what I considered an unsavory body part—the snout, for example, or the hooves—she would proclaim it to be "delicious." Heart, lungs, kidneys, all delicious. Her favorite part was the stomach; I felt like I'd given her a gift when I taught her the English word tripe.

Once the organs had been removed, our host sliced through the tissue separating the chest from the abdomen. Blood poured into the emptied cavity, which the family scooped into a painter's bucket with a plastic bowl. The process was gruesome, but impressively neat—not only was nothing wasted, but there was no mess. When the butchering was done, there was no blood on the grass, or even on anyone's clothes.

With night falling, the family lit a fire under the kitchen stove and invited us into the living room to watch basketball beneath a tapestry of Genghis Khan as they prepared dinner. (Genghis Khan may have died in the 13th century, but his name still graces everything from beer and vodka to cigars, clothing, restaurants, hotels, universities, and the country's international airport.) I was relieved that the slaughter was over, but as smells drifted toward us from the kitchen, my apprehensions returned.


We weren't sure what to expect for dinner, but we did know that much of traditional Mongolian cuisine is not for the faint of heart. Strongly influenced by the country's nomadic culture, it tends to be seasonal and animal-based: dairy products in the summer and lots of meat and fat in the winter. Nomads, who move their gers at least twice a year, don't usually plant crops and often view vegetables with suspicion—a food more appropriate for livestock than for people.

Up to that point, our most notable Mongolian culinary experience had been drinking a nomadic staple called airag, which translates to "fermented horse milk." We'd also tried some other nomadic treats, such as aaruul—rock-hard dried cheese curds that taste like parmesan that's done hard time in a barnyard—and Mongolian milk tea, a weak concoction of low-grade black tea, milk, and salt. (Luckily, we'd avoided boodog, a goat or marmot carcass stuffed with hot stones and then blowtorched—a bold dish for a country that has outbreaks of marmot plague, aka, Black Death.) I didn't mind Mongolian dumplings, and I actually liked öröm, clotted cream that nomads slather on deep-fried bread. But I wasn't eager to re-create any of the recipes at home.

Nevertheless, we remembered our manners and didn't alert our hosts to our squeamishness. When Otgoo emerged from the kitchen with a bowl of what looked like cheese-covered rubber, we responded with as much enthusiasm as we could muster.

"Oh wow," I said, as the mystery substance glistened in the room's overhead light. "What is that?"

"It is the liver," Otgoo replied. "And this," she said, pointing at the coating I'd hoped might be melted mozzarella, "is special fat, from the belly." She set it down on the table.

As I took a bite, the flavor that greeted me revealed another important distinction between American and Mongolian cuisine. In America, even a dish as straightforward-sounding as "Fat-Wrapped Liver Chunks" would probably include a few unnamed, yet complementary ingredients like onions, or salt. But in Mongolia, the title says it all. Like everything we ate that night, my first bite had not been salted. It contained no herbs or spice. It was exactly what I knew it was: the liver of the sheep I'd just watched die.

Next came a purple plastic bowl filled with a larger selection of boiled organs: colon, kidneys, lung. As I nibbled on the latter, Otgoo began by slicing into the bloated stomach. Skin stretched taut like a water balloon, it was filled with a dark brown, firm substance that could have been mistaken for dense chocolate cake, but was actually boiled blood. (The colon had been similarly prepared, with extra intestine stuffed inside for good measure.)

"Here," said Otgoo, as she served us both thick slices of blood-stuffed stomach, each roughly the diameter of a grapefruit. "It is delicious."

By the time I'd tried the intestine-stuffed intestine, I'd concluded that, when it comes to the question of deliciousness, Otgoo and I have no choice but to respectfully disagree. I also was getting a bit desperate, caught between my desire to be a good guest and my inability to stomach the delicacies I was being served. As family members popped in and out of the room to deliver new organs, I scanned the table for something, anything, nonvisceral to chew on. I found it among the beer bottles: a jar of pickles, which I began cramming into my mouth with a ferocity that would make a pregnant woman proud. The good part was that I could mask the organs' taste with pickle brine; the downside is that from here on out, I'll associate gherkins with sheep intestine. Worse, my enthusiasm for the pickle jar made the grandmother of the family think that I hadn't gotten enough food. She emerged from the kitchen to slide a few more slices of blood onto my plate.
By the end of the evening, I'd developed a lot of respect for the Mongolian approach to a dinner party—it embodies the connection to the land that American foodie culture preaches yet rarely practices. And yet I have to say that, having met my meat, I'd prefer never to do so again. One photograph from that night best captures my true reaction to the meal. I am sitting on a couch in front of a table covered in serving dishes and bottles of Mongolian beer. There is the bowl of ribs, the plate of blood, the box of tissues we used to wipe the mutton grease off our chins. The pickle jar rests incriminatingly beneath my elbow; on the wall hangs the tapestry of Genghis Khan. Mouth full, slightly sweaty, I am staring straight into the camera as I hold aloft the food that I, the adventurous eater, had found the most delicious: a boiled potato.


Inner Mongolian herders take to the streets, four arrested

Herders Take to the Streets, Four Arrested

On the morning of May 23, 2011, hundreds of Mongolian herders from Right Ujumchin Banner of Southern (Inner) Mongolia took to the streets in the Banner capital (equivalent to the county level of government) to protest against the Chinese miners’ brutal killing of a Mongolian herder and the destruction of Mongolian herders’ grazing land. Hundreds more herders from three sums (a sum is an administrative unit one level below banner) of Right Ujumchin Banner were blocked by armed police on their way marching toward the Banner capital.

Mongolian herders marching toward the Banner Government

According to an email communication from the local Mongolian community, three herders and one student were severely beaten in front of the Banner Government building and taken away by the police. Whereabouts and current condition of the four are still unknown. Mongols who captured the protest and police brutality on their cell phones or cameras had their devices confiscated.

Mongolian herders beaten up and taken away by police

With China’s announcement that the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR) has become the “energy base of China,” Chinese mining companies and private miners poured into the Southern Mongolian grasslands to open up hundreds of coal mines, forcibly displacing the local herders, destroying their grazing land, and killing their livestock.

Police arresting Mongolian protesters
Frustrated herders organized to block the Chinese mining trucks from passing through their grazing land. On May 10, 2011, Mr. Mergen, one of the organizers of the Mongolian herders of Right Ujumchin Banner, was brutally killed by a Chinese truck driver while he was blocking a caravan of hundreds of Chinese coal haulers from passing through his grazing land on May 10, 2011.

Mongolian demonstrators beaten up by Chinese police

Reportedly, instead of bringing the murderer and those who violated the rights of the herders to justice in accordance with the law, the Banner Government tried to appease the family members of Mergen and local herders by giving a large sum of cash to Mergen’s widowed wife and mother. The Chinese authorities’ bribery-like handling of the case not only failed to calm the Mongolian herders but further angered them, inciting them to take to the streets to demand their rights and dignity be respected.

Fearing possible unrest among the herders, the local government mobilized more than 300 armed police to prevent any kind of protest or gathering.

“Hotels were searched at midnight by the Public Security Bureau personnel for herders possibly hiding to join any protest; Mongolian students were locked up in their schools, and campuses are heavily guarded by police,” a Mongolian blogger wrote, describing the tension between the Mongolians and the local authorities.

According to another blog article, on May 21, all principals of the schools in Right Ujumchin Banner were called to an urgent meeting by the Educational Bureau and were told to have a complete control over their teachers and students to prevent them from joining any Internet discussions about Mergen’s case.

Despite this tight control over the Internet, Mongolian bloggers are expressing their grievances and rallying the Southern Mongolians to stage a mass protest to demand their rights. A call-on paper is widely circulated through the Internet among the Southern Mongolians to organize a large-scale demonstration at the Xinhua Square in front of the IMAR Government and the Inner Mongolia TV Station in the regional capital Hohhot City to protest the government’s failure to redress Mergen’s case and the Inner Mongolia TV’s intentional inaction in covering the case. The proposed demonstration date is May 30, 2011, and the expected participants are the thousands of Mongolian students from all universities, colleges and other professional schools.
Inner Mongolian herder
Mergen hit by heavy coal truck of Chung Chen Group

Another online statement called upon all Southern Mongolians to take five minutes on May 30 to mourn Mergen’s death and mark the day as “Herders’ Rights Day” every year. The paper also urged the Chinese government to erect a memorial on the Ujumchin Grassland to honor Mergen as a “Southern Mongolian National Hero and Martyr” who sacrificed his life to defend the Mongol land from Chinese intruders.

Source:Inner Mongolian websites,


Chinese Mongolians make rare "protest" after death of herder

BEIJING May 25 (Reuters) - A large group of ethnic Mongolians protested in front of a government building in northern China on Wednesday angered by inaction over the death of a herder, a rights group said, in a rare instance of unrest by the minority ethnic group.

The New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre said that almost 2,000 students marched to the city government building in Xilinhot in China's Inner Mongolia.

They went "to urge the Chinese authorities to respect the rights and dignity of Mongolian herders" in Inner Mongolia, the group said in an emailed statement.

It was the latest in a series of protests by ethnic Mongolians in response to the "brutal" killing of a Mongolian herder by a Chinese coal truck driver, the group added.

Pictures posted on Chinese microblogging sites showed at least 100 people, many of whom appeared to be students, gathered in front of the city government.

Reuters was not able to independently verify the authenticity of the pictures or when they were taken.

The Xilinhot government did not answer repeated telephone calls seeking comment.

However, in a statement on its website ( on Wednesday, the government said police had arrested two Han Chinese for homicide.

The area around Xilinhot is home to many coal mines.

Decades of migration by the majority Han Chinese have made Chinese Mongolians a minority in their own land, officially comprising less than 20 percent of the roughly 24 million population of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region.

Inner Mongolia, which covers more than a tenth of China's land mass and borders Mongolia proper, is supposed to offer a high degree of self-rule. In practice, though, Mongolians say the Han run the show.

While protests in Inner Mongolia are far rarer than in Tibet or Xinjiang, two other parts of China with restive native populations, the Chinese government has still taken a tough line on Mongolians who seek greater respect of their rights.

Human rights issues in Inner Mongolia generally receive little attention, as the Mongolians lack a well-known overseas advocate like Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source:Reuters news wire service


China Airlines donates 350 LCD monitors to Mongolian schools

China Airlines donated 350 used 15” LCD monitors to the Ulaanbaatar Trade and Economic Office in Taipei, Mongolia's representative office in Taiwan, at the inauguration ceremony yesterday of the Mongolia Culture, Education, Health and Economic Cooperation Association in Taiwan.

The monitors will be distributed to 33 schools and one hospital in remote regions of the Mongolia, including the South Gobi Province and Selenge Province to help promote computer literacy. The airline donated another 210 used monitors in March to Taiwanese charities such as the Garden of Hope Foundation and Syin-Lu Social Welfare Foundation, among others.

In recent years the airline has been finding new lives in social welfare for old corporate assets. In 2009, it donated cabin equipment such as seats, meal carts, toilets, oxygen masks and life jackets, to local elementary schools to build airport-themed English classrooms.


OSCE-Mongolia Conference co-operation with Asian Partners

The FINANCIAL -- ULAANBAATAR, 23 May 2011 – Strengthening synergies between the 56 participating States of the OSCE and its Asian Partners for Co-operation in addressing transnational threats, such as illicit drug trafficking.
Advancing international economic co-operation, in particular on transport and energy security; as well as promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms in the whole OSCE area, are key topics of the OSCE-Mongolia Conference that started in Ulaanbaatar today.

The two-day meeting organized jointly by the OSCE and the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, looks at how six Asian Partners for Co-operation – Afghanistan, Australia, Japan, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, and Thailand – can further benefit from the engagement with the OSCE.

Addressing the Conference participants, Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Gombojav Zandanshatar said: “The OSCE security activities across all three dimensions – the politico-military, the economic and environmental and the human – could serve as examples for security co-operation in Northeast Asia. OSCE’s unique features, including its co-operative and comprehensive approach to security, conflict prevention instruments, well-established confidence and security-building measures, large operational network of field missions, are valuable assets to be drawn on in terms of practical application in Northeast Asia”.

He stressed the importance of enhancing transit co-operation – one of the topics on the Conference’s agenda, and called on OSCE participating States and Partners to increase financial and technical assistance to landlocked developing countries to “help them overcome the impediments of geography by improving their transit transport systems”.

Evaldas Ignatavicius, Deputy Foreign Minister of Lithuania which chairs the OSCE in 2011 said: “The Conference is an example of true partnership between the OSCE and Asian Partners in terms of sharing the know-how of OSCE commitments.”

Speaking about priorities of the OSCE Chairmanship in the co-operation with the Partners, Ignatavicius stressed Lithuania’s commitment to “strengthening the OSCE engagement with Afghanistan through concrete projects, in close co-operation and co-ordination with other international actors, as an effective way of contributing to the international efforts to bring greater stability and security to Afghanistan”. Ignatavicius said that this approach has been reiterated by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office during his visit to the Kunduz Province of Afghanistan last week, where he encouraged his Afghan counterparts to embrace co-operation with the OSCE through “small but meaningful steps”.

In this context Ignatavicius emphasized the importance of a training course for mid-level Afghan diplomats that Mongolia proposed to host this September, as well as a discussion on capacity building of the diplomatic service of Afghanistan, which will be held today to lay ground for the course. The discussion will be held with the financial support from Kazakhstan.

Ambassador Kairat Abdrakhmanov of Kazakhstan, who chairs the Asian Contact Group, said: “Kazakhstan is determined to concretely work towards a closer and more effective co-operation with our Partners”.

”The Declaration adopted at the Astana Summit in 2010 stressed the Eurasian dimension of our security community”, Abdrakhmanov said, adding that in Astana the participating States pledged to enhance the level of interaction with the Partners for Co-operation. He emphasized the practical value of the ongoing project funded through the Partnership Fund on the placement of young diplomats from the Partner countries in the OSCE executive structures.

Paul Fritch, Director of the OSCE Secretary General’s Office, stressed the importance of the OSCE Partnership for exchanging best practices and lessons learned, and mentioned in this regard a planned activity in Thailand with Afghan participation on fighting the roots of drug trafficking by stopping drugs cultivation and fostering socio-economic development.

Speaking about economic and environmental aspects of security, he underlined that the OSCE is a “unique platform for political dialogue and facilitation of regional co-operation, matched with first-hand local knowledge,” which can contribute to co-operation on transport, border crossing facilitation, and trade promotion across the Eurasian region. Fritch also said that the Conference will explore ways to promote co-operation, including with OSCE Partners, “to identify mutually beneficial solutions for managing interdependency and strengthening energy security”.

Exchange of experience and best practices in the promotion of democratic governance, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law is another important component of the event, which will “surely consolidate and expand our common security”, he added.

Annual conferences with Asian Partners for Co-operation, hosted by a Partner country on a rotation basis, are the key forum for the OSCE’s co-operation with its Asian Partners providing an opportunity to exchange views on security in the OSCE region and in Asia. Similar annual conferences are also conducted with Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation.


Hunnu Coal Buys Majority Stake In Mongolia Coking Coal Project

MELBOURNE -(Dow Jones)- Hunnu Coal Ltd. (HUN.AU) said Monday it has bought Rio Tinto PLC's (RIO) controlling 70% interest in the Altai Nuurs coal joint venture project in southwestern Mongolia for a A$23 million cash payment on signing of the deal and a further A$17 million in deferred payments.


- The Altai Nuurs project is located in the south western Gobi Altai province of Mongolia, about 250 kilometers by road to the Burgastai border crossing point into China and 550 kilometers to the China rail network.

- The project comprises six licenses exploration licenses totalling 46,212 ha and four mining licenses totalling 202 ha, with an exploration target of between 250 million metric tons and 500 million tons.

- Preliminary test work indicate the coking coal parameters compare favorably with similar coking coal projects elsewhere in the world.

- Hunnu said it intends to continue its exploration and acquisition efforts and, with the support of its strategic partner Banpu PCL, move from exploration to mine development and then into production all within this year.

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Source:Dow Jones, news wire


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