Mongolians hopeful about Year of the Rabbit

Mongolian traditions get plenty of use during Tsagaan Sar week
According to the lunar calendar, the Year of the Rabbit begins on February 3, 2011. The Year of the Rabbit offers hope as well as warning of peril. Tsagaan Sar (White Moon) is Mongolia’s New Year’s; a symbolic holiday where people express their respect for elders and each other, welcome the New Year, exchange gifts and seek well-being. It is considered  to add one year of age to every person and marks the beginning of the New Year cycle following a long, cold winter.
The so called “Ass” iron Rabbit Year will be fortunate for people who are planning to live together in coming year. There are 14 days left to celebrate the New Year by the traditional Mongolian calendar.
Astrologers and monks explain. in their own way, the general features of the so called “Ass” coming White Rabbit Year of the 60 years cycle.
The traditional “zolgoh” (greeting) ceremony will take place on the first day of the New Year. In this article , we will introduce the main features of the Rabbit Year described by Dr. Professor L.Terbish who studies Mongolian astronomy in combination with present-day scientific research.
The year’s basic feature predicts and forecasts how the position and movement of celestial bodies in that particular year influence our planet.
Grass, crop, potatoes and vegetables are supposed to grown in abundance in the so called “Ass” iron Rabbit
Year, but there is a danger of being destroyed by steppe mice and locusts.
The Year of Rabbit might have plenty of rain, the State and government become strong and powerful, the country abundant in grain and live in peace. Strong winds might increase in the middle of each quarter; snow is
expected to fall in the spring season with some snowing and hailstorms in the beginning of summer and end of
fall. Heavy snowing is expected at the beginning of the winter season.
The Rabbit Year is likely to be peaceful for old people, severe for the young and sensitive for small children.
It is desirable to fulfill duties carefully and with responsibility. Praying and benefaction will be conducted in abundance. Flowers and fruits will blossom, livestock successfully raised and grown. It will be raining and if the attitude of the people towards nature and environment is right, they will benefit from it.
One of old books says that “if a person wants to be right and good, there needs to be a right basket”. In other words, the basket should not be upside down; secondly, it should not have holes here and there; thirdly, the basket needs to be very clear, without any dirt inside it. The golden basket though it is very nice on the surface must not be dirty inside. The humans need to purify their soul. If an organism is pure, the basket itself will become good. We often say that the environment and nature are not improving, but never concede that it’s our own deeds that make nature become worse

Would you explain the reason of coinciding of the Year of Rabbit and of the first day of the New Year? The first day of the New Year in the coming Year of Iron Rabbit of the XYII 60 years cycle coincides on two days. To find the reason for thi s we must have some explanation in Mongolian astrology. There are three systems of chronology in the world. The people of Jesus Christ religion use the Argyn toolol or European system of chronology (chronology by method). This chronology is made by observing the solar position over one year and is classified as old and new. The European chronology system used since the 1st year to 1582 was called as the Julian calendar and was then followed by Gregorian calendar. The countries of Islam religion used to follow the solar chronology system based on Arabian astrology. The Mongolian chronology system we use is called Tegus Buyantu zurkhai system, developed in 1747 by the great Mongolian saint Sunbe khambo Ishbaljir (1704-1788). It is possible to create the old Mongolian Tsaglabar or Lit developed at the decree of Chinggis Khan and continuing to 1747. If, the day coincides in the zurkhai text, the first day must be followed. If it ends, the second day must be followed. Therefore, this year the first day, or February 3rd must be considered as the first day of the New Year. The Mongolian zurkhai chronology is based on the movement of the moon and os therefore more reliable because it suits the movements of celestial bodies.
Nature and climate have seriously changed in recent years. It is said the Mayas calendar is ending in 2012 and that the end of the Earth is approaching.
According to zurkhai science of classical Buddhism, the world is very old. To live long and happy means taking care of yourself, avoiding illness and not being involved in evil deeds. If you strike, punch or kick  the head of a person who was going to live 100 years he will certainly die. So, we, the people, are the reasons our land is destroyed. People destroy this world because of their own greed.
There are few people who live for 100 years, but some strive to possess and eat what could be possessed by several thousand people, this is greed. No, the earth will not end in 2012. Gold is a screw of the earth; if gold will be taken, the earth will be like a basket without screws. The land we are living in can be compared with the basket If screws are taken off, the basket will fall down and break and our land will become an empty basket.

Head of the Gandantegchilen Monastery, Khambo lama D.Choijamts said:
As the Year of Rabbit is favorable for elderly, severe for the young and sensitive for small children, the young and old must be cared and tendered alike and the young must be friendly. The happiness and the sorrow of many or for individuals is not the same as for their consequence and outcome. Traditionally, all people meet  the Mongolian New Year in a peaceful way, greeting each other with right words, avoid pronouncing bad words and exercise bad deeds, freeing themselves of greed and anger and performing good for others. During the Tsagaan Sar the elderly offer valuable instruction for young people and perform verbally with high respect and attention in their gestures. Gift giving is considered a good deed, and the gift should be given from the bottom of the heart.

Lama G.Purevbat:
The purity in body, language, and in the soul must be the three basic factors to be admired and revered on the basis of which the so-called white festivity is traditionally marked in the first month of the particular year.
The Great Chinggis Khan considered this festival as the birthday for every person. The Tsagaan Sar or the New Year of the Mongols was the supreme holiday of all holidays. This was the symbol of purity without the slightest black spot. Though from the point of view of white dairy products, in the sense of color whiteness, it means all bad must be eradicated without leaving a black spot and be preserved as pure, bright and tranquil.
This is why it was forbidden to see evil things with your eyes, to hear it with your ears and to perform evil deeds bodily. The first day of the New Year was considered to be the day of adherence to being pure in language, soul and body.
In the year 1206, the great Mongolian empire was founded in the last winter month of the year o f the Blue Bull, and in the beginning of the spring of the Red Tiger year of the III 60 years cycle. In that time, the ceremony of elevating Temuujin to the throne as Chinggis Khaan took place.
This particular period was considered the holiday of the establishment of Great Mongolia and was marked as a tradition in the spring of the New Year. During this holiday, Chinggis Khaan conferred awards to 88 deserving people, pardoned criminals and bestowed State favors to the poor and deprived. The old people were also encouraged with awards. It was considered good luck to greet and welcome each other early in the morning with the rising sun.

Ch.Dambajav, Khambo lama of Dashchoilyn Monastery:
- According to the drawing of astrologers, the New Year will be peaceful for old people, severe for the young and sensitive for children with plenty of rain, good grass and vegetation. It is necessary to safeguard nature and the environment and to rightly possess wealth. Beginning from the first day to the 15th, the mood is becoming bigger. People will strive to perform the religious ritual for expelling evil deeds during this time. The grand charting will be being held in the first 15 days of the New Year.

Astrologer of the Dashchoilin Monastery Baatarkhuu: 
The year of the iron Rabbit nicknamed “Ass” will be difficult. The rabbit and hare are animals which are always afraid of others. To give to someone and to receive from someone are different things. This will be the year of losing everything, but this could be repaired. The Dashchoilin Monastery will perform Gombo at the beginning of the month, Choijoo prayer in the middle of the month and Lkham at the end of the month. It will be a difficult spring. I am drawing the 32 year drawing zurkhai. I am doing the zurkhai or lit since 1980 and up to 2015. The situation in the world will be really complicated. Strong winds will blow, sun will heat, heavy rains will occur, and war conflict situations arise. There is no need for everyone to perform right tracing, leave it to the family head. According to my zurkhai drawing there would be some natural phenomena including earthquakes. But anyway, the Year of Rabbit will favor us.
According to the Oriental calendar the year 2011 or the Rabbit Year will be good for family life and will favor newlyweds for a whole year. The Iron Rabbit Year will bring love and happiness to your family. The rabbit is considered an animal which generates warmth, care and love and an animal loved by children. The pair who was in quarrel seems to reunite and love each other again in the year of the Rabbit. Happiness and luck are supposed to follow children born in the Rabbit Year
  source: The Mongol Messenger newspaper





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Little support given for dismissing Minister D. Zorigt

On January 20, the issue of dismissing government member and Minerals and Energy Minister D. Zorigt was discussed at a plenary meeting of parliament. However, 75 percent of 56 MPs who were present at the  meeting polled that it was ‘unnecessary to dismiss Minerals Minister D. Zorigt’.During the plenary meeting, MPs asked questions about reasons for the dismissal of Minister D. Zorigt, and some of them expressed their
positions.
The issue most discussed by MPs was about the evidence that the minister issued 192 exploration and mining licenses for areas in ‘protected zones with a river source, reservoir, and forestry’, breaking a law on prohibiting mining explorations and extraction in areas with a river source, reservoir and forestry, adopted by
parliament on July 16, 2009.
Minerals and Energy Minister D. Zorigt explained that it has not been so easy to implement the parliamentary resolution on publicly informing protected areas by setting boundaries within a period of three months. In the process of mapping, cadastre, information was publicly given and it was reported to cancel licenses pursuant to resolution #57.
Nature, Environment and Tourism Minister L. Gansukh explained that all coincidences of areas in all coordinates were introduced to government and it was considered to be right to cancel mining licenses for earth deposits in the first phase.
Minister D.Zorigt added that the survey was taken from mining companies whose licenses were cancelled and that are required to be compensated. The companies demanded compensation worth Tgs4-5 trillion and this issue is being studied.
The Mongol Bank reported that there is huge debt and credit in regards to over 380 mining licenses and sent a letter requesting attention be given to recover the debt and loan.
MP Ts. Sedvanchig said, “You are saying that the law will come into effect after issuing a cadastre and mapping of crossings. The law must be effective as soon as it is adopted. Forestry and reservoirs are understandable; in reality however, mining activities are still being conducted in areas with river sources and other areas after the law was passed. There is a clause in the law, saying that boundaries shall be settled within 3 months following adoption of the law”.
MP Z. Enkhbold expressed his position that the law was not implemented until today since its approval and it seems there is a lobby of license holders beyond Minister Zorigt’s act of seeking every possibility to undermine the law. He continued, saying that if the minister is not dismissed, Parliament would have to annul the law that it adopted, but not being implemented.
Another evidence for dismissal was Minister Zorigt’s failure to fulfill parliamentary resolution #57 dated July 16, 2009 and not providing required information and documents until today to the Working Group, responsible for getting familiar with the process of income collection and taxation within frames of Oyu Tolgoi
project’s investment and workingout a proposal. It causes the Working Group that was set up in March of 2010 to be unable to work and make any conclusion.
In response, D. Zorigt said that he sent information he has about Oyu Tolgoi Project to MP Ts. Batbayar, head of the Working Group, under  the law and cited official documents including 93 pages of documents. He added that there is secret information that must not be exposed and it is only possible to receive this information by the request of an Audit Organization.
He also offered an apology for late delivery of some information because it takes longer to prepare information about the investors. In turn, MP Ts. Batbayar said, “You are lying about giving me information. I sent a letter of request for concise answers to some questions, but you sent too many pages with uncertain information. Our working group applied to the auditing organization and worked with two auditors, with no success.”
MP S. Erdene accused D. Zorigt of protecting the interest of a foreign wealthy company and added that even the auditing organization is unable to get information and there are many foreigners who are more powerful than the State organization. MP N. Batbayar said that people are depressed because Government distorted assignments given by Parliament, and Oyu Tolgoi did not bring a debt to Mongolia firstly; however, D. Zorigt is guilty for bringing debts. He also cited an example about Mongolia’s equity in Oyu Tolgoi Project and blamed D. Zorigt for not giving the required documents to the head of the Parliamentary Working Group. In turn, D. Zorigt responded that he is sure there will be a change of quality in this project and is accountable for all works for the nation.
“Billions of Tgs have been spent under the pretext of renewable energy without accurate calculation of fruits from the investment. However, there has not been any visible outcome and the environment is being destroyed.
Some tenders announced in the energy sector in 2009-2010, did not work honestly and bidders who did not meet qualifications were selected in the tender. It resulted in poor quality of 70-80 percent of all assembling works in the renewable energy sector. Local citizens often complain about it. Actions to be taken in frames of objectives to reduce Ulaanbaatar’s air pollution was asserted in parliamentary resolutions #46 in 2007 and #36 in 2010 have not been effectively implemented. A tender for founding a semi-coked fuel plant relied on Electric Power Station II could not been conducted under the relevant requirements and funding was transferred when the winner of the tender did not start its operation”.
In response to the evidence, D. Zorigt explained that relevant legal organizations supervised tender issues.
Some MPs expressed opposition to dismissing Minister D. Zorigt. For instance, MP J. Enkhbayar said, “I am opposed to the act of attacking one person. It is unfortunate that some people are doing it to raise their reputation and trying to look honest in front of the public at present time when an election is so near. A person who works makes mistakes; however, one who does not work does not have any mistake or merit”.
Prime Minister S. Batbold was present at the discussion and answered some questions by MPs saying, “Government can endure responsibility. We have a favorable period to use advantages for the prosperity of Mongolia. It has taken many years while we talked about these matters. We are debating; however, creative works are late. There needs to be talk about a development policy. As the joint government was established, it could move a stoppage. There might be both mistakes and corrections. MPs should treat this issue in principle. If there is a matter requiring dismissal, I will bring the matter myself. I think it is unnecessary to dismiss D. Zorigt”
By B. Ooluun

source: The Mongol Messenger newspaper
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Tsagaan Sar…it’s like déjà vu, all over again

Tsagaan Sar cuisine consists of sheep’s tail, arig, buuz, cookies and vodka
It’s Tsagaan Sar again, and it makes me re-evaluate what kind of person I am. People might say I’m a minimalist; I try not to eat too much, drink too much, spend too much, and definitely don’t like to work too
much. So, from that perspective, and being a westerner, I guess I’ve always enjoyed being a spectator on holidays.
I can watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on TV, college football on New Years, 4th of July fireworks, or even go to a Labor Day picnic — if someone insists. For the rest of the US holidays, I’m just happy to have a day off with pay.
But Tsagaan Sar forces you to be a participant…over and over again. This is my third Tsagaan Sar in Mongolia and I think I’m only just beginning to understand the concept and value of this remarkable, but puzzling holiday.
After my first ‘White Moon’ “holiday” I dreaded ever having to participate again. We spend a small fortune on gifts, fought traffic, crowded markets, bought and prepared tons of food including the making of a thousand buuz. We stocked up on vodka, whiskey, wine, beer, soda, and more vodka. We bought fruit, candy, nuts, made salads, assembled giant cookies covered with cheese and butter and prepared our house to receive about 100 guests. It was a lot of work that didn’t put me in the ‘holiday’ spirit.
I don’t even know how many homes we visited or how many families visited us and I felt like it was just too much activity at one time. But I’m starting to come around; starting to understand the value and meaning of this New Year’s event.
I’m learning more about Mongolian culture, Buddhism, family life, work ethic, and sincerity of Mongolian people. Our article on the year of the rabbit in this week’s issue details  some of the history and significance of
the holiday, such as meeting the New Year in a peaceful way, greeting each other with good words, not saying negative things, freeing oneself from greed or anger, doing nice things for other people and white dairy products symbolizing the preservation of purity and tranquility for the coming year.
In that context, even I can appreciate the spirit of Tsagaan Sar. But mostly, I appreciate the holiday bringing family together. In this age, culture and language are more vulnerable than ever before. Many countries, including Mongolia see their society rapidly changing as globalization increasingly encroaches on local traditions and norms. We have a number of family members that we wouldn’t ordinarily visit during the year, but Tsagaan Sar brings us back together, even for a short time, to be in touch with who we are as a family. It gives us all a sense of belonging, especially meaningful for the development of our children.
There is no American holiday like Tsagaan Sar; you would have to put Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, birthdays, and New Year’s all together and still not have something like Tsagaan Sar.
I’m not Mongolian, I may never be a ‘holiday’ guy, I know I can’t knock back vodka like my Mongolian counterparts and don’t even want to try, but with increased understanding, it’s becoming easier for me to appreciate the best things about Tsagaan Sar —sharing time with family, giving gifts,and celebrating the coming New Year

by David  Brown
source: The Mongol Messenger newspaper

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Mongolian family faces deportation

The fate of a Mongolian family which has been resident in Poland’s southern city of Krakow for eleven years will be decided upon by a court, Monday.

Four out of five members of the Batdavaa family are currently awaiting a court hearing in Przemysl, south-east Poland, after having been arrested by the Border Guard and taken to a deportation centre there.

A petition has been written in defence of the family, which has lived in Poland since 2000, with the youngest member born in Krakow soon after the family’s arrival. It is reported that the family is well-known in the district in which they live, and that they have never had any run-ins with the law.

Graduation ceremony

The eldest of the three children, Khash-Erdene, made headlines last week when he defended his engineering thesis at Krakow’s University of Science and Technology (AGH) in the escort of Border Guard functionaries.

Khash’s brother, Oyun-Od, completed his schooling last year and is currently a first-year student at AGH. He is so far the only member of the family that has not been taken into custody by the Border Guard.

Illegal immigrants?

Even though the Mongolian family has lived in Krakow since 2000, they have yet to file for their right to remain in Poland.

The order to move the family to the refugee centre in Przemysl was given by the Provincial Governor of the Malopolska region, Stanislaw Kracik, at the beginning of the year. They now face deportation to Mongolia.

The Citizens Ombudsman, Irena Lipowicz and the Childs’ Ombudsman Marek Michalak are looking into the case, while local MEP, Boguslaw Sonik is standing in defence of the family.

Furthermore, at the defence of his engineering thesis last week, Khash also thanked for the support shown to him by the student community, which turned out in force bearing banners calling for authorities to grant Polish citizenship to the family.

According to the Provincial Governor’s Office, the Mongolian family was offered legal assistance in how to obtain permits for the right to remain in Poland.

Even though the family members were issued temporary visas while their residency status was ascertained, these ran out, leading the way for the Governor’s decision to send the family to a deportation centre. The decision has thus far been upheld by the Office for Foreigners and the courts. (jb)

Source: PAP/TVP Info/Gazeta Wyborcza, a newspaper of Poland www.thenews.pl

Khash-Erdene Batdavaa, who graduated from AGH in the presence of Border Guards last week. Photo: TVP




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Banks to pitch for Mongolian mine privatization - says British paper

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Over 20 investment banks will next month submit written proposals for the privatisation of Mongolia's Tavan Tolgoi coal mines that could value it at up to $8 billion, The Independent on Sunday reported.

The newspaper said bankers from HSBC, Deutsche, Credit Suisse, Citi and Macquarie are among those who will present proposals to list the coal group in either Hong Kong, London or give it a dual listing.

It said presentations will be held between Feb. 10 and Feb. 15 in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator, with six banks expected to win roles in the flotation, expected by the first half of next year.

Tavan Tolgoi, which could become one of the world's largest coal mines, is owned by Mongolian government entity Erdenes MGL.

Source:Reuters news service and Independent newspaper of UK



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Elderly American woman fell in love with Mongolia after served 2 years as Peace Corps Volunteer

Elderly   American woman fell in love with our country-Mongolia after serving as Peace Corps Volunteer for 2 years. She is spreading the love of Mongolia for fellow Americans and bringing Mongolia to US.

By staff of Mongolianviews.com

By Alan Burke
Staff Writer
Judy Gates of Marblehead, second from left, poses with a group of Mongolians at a Tsagaan Sar (Lunar New Year) celebration.
Judy Gates of Marblehead just spent 27 months in Mongolia. She will give a talk about her experiences next Sunday.
A ger (traditional felt tent) with a modern-day solar panel and motorcycle that Judy Gates photographed in Mongolia.

MARBLEHEAD — Her home is on one of the prettiest streets in the most picturesque towns in the world. Judy Gates loves Marblehead.
But, she just spent 27 months in Mongolia, with no central heat, where wintry temperatures linger eight months of the year and the wind cutting across the grasslands can drive the thermometer to 50 below zero.

Yet, she said, "I felt more a part of the community there than I do here."
Not that she's lost her affection for Marblehead. "I love seeing my friends again," Gates said.
And as a former library trustee, she will give a talk titled "Take a Trip to Mongolia" at the Abbot Public Library on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 2 p.m. It's a topic likely to tell us a little bit about our lives and what's gotten lost in the rush toward progress.
Gates, 67, a widow with two grown children and grandchildren, went to Mongolia as a Peace Corps volunteer in 2008.
"We all have to figure out what is meaningful in our lives," she said before departing. "One of the most important ways to find meaning is by trying to do things for others."
She went to a country quite literally on the other side of the world, tucked up between China and Russia, a land of grassy plains and people who briefly conquered much of the known world in the 13th century. Today, Mongolia is considered a developing country, formerly under Soviet control.
As a volunteer, Gates used her skills in marketing to help at the local chamber of commerce.
Renting space in a wooden house, Gates enjoyed three rooms to herself but kept to one in order to stay warm. Her biggest challenge, however, wasn't weather. It was the language. It gets tougher to learn, she conceded, as you get older.
"But I was able to make myself understood," she said. "I managed fine. And I was able to make many friends."

It helped that the Mongolians are now taught English in schools and seem anxious to use it.

Further, Gates found them wonderfully hospitable, a trait seemingly belied by their photos — most Mongolians believe it inappropriate to smile for the camera.

She was also struck by their respect for elders.

"If I go along the street in Marblehead, would teenage boys speak to me?" she asked doubtfully. In Mongolia, Gates heard greetings all day from strangers and from a growing list of friends.

"I felt welcomed by little kids," she recalled.

Meanwhile, she helped set up a shop catering to tourists on their way to nearby Lake Khovsgol, known as the Dark Blue Pearl and one of the deepest in the world.

In addition, she said she started a project to remind these once-nomadic people that it makes no sense to litter when you stay in one place, establishing a system of trash barrels in her town.

She helped in little ways, too, tutoring people in English, filling out forms in English, and, in one dramatic case, surmounting red tape for a young father who'd lost his leg in a motorcycle accident and getting him a new one.

Although increasingly urbanized, Mongolians continue to work as herders, and horses are a vital part of their lives.

"Just about as soon as they can walk, they learn to ride," Gates said.

She rode, too, and she came home with a broken thumb after being thrown by a balky horse, but she laughs that off.

The Mongolians are a people who love their mothers, love their families and love their songs, Gates said. They sing all the time. And while she doesn't begrudge them the influx of cheap Chinese electronics, computers and cell phones — "Everyone has one" — she worries about the impact.

"When I was growing up, my family sang all the time," warned Gates, who was born in Cincinnati. Lots of families did. But over time, the machines began singing for us and the habit faded away.

Seeking a better life, some Mongolians asked Gates about going to America. Others went to earn money in South Korea.

"The standard of living is much lower than it is here," she said. "But there is a love of family and a love of country that tugs at them."

It tugs at Gates, too.

Having only returned in September, she said, "I miss Mongolia." In fact, she hopes to get the Peace Corps to send her back for another six months in the spring.

"It's an absolutely beautiful country filled with people I love dearly."

If you go

What: "Take a Trip to Mongolia" with Judy Gates, Peace Corps volunteer. The library will recognize the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps with a free talk by Gates, who will bring images from Mongolia and examples of handicrafts.

When: Sunday, Feb. 6, 2 p.m.

Where: Abbot Public Library, 235 Pleasant St., Marblehead


Source:www.salemnews.com (The Salem News newspaper)
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Former Mongolian president named chairman of new party

ULAN BATOR, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Enkhbayar Nambar, the former president and prime minister of Mongolia, has been elected chairman of a new political party created on Friday.

At the end of a two-day conference, the new party was formed and was called "Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party," a name the ruling Mongolian People's Party gave up in November.

The conference also chose the party chairman from three candidates nominated by conference participants. Enkhbayar won with 687 out of 913 votes.

"I was never for the name change of the party and therefore, leadership of the Mongolian People's Party is attacking me," Enkhbayar said, "I will fight for justice as the party chairman."

According to the Supreme Court of Mongolia, which registers political parties, there are currently 17 political parties registered in the country. It is not clear whether the court will register the new party as "Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party."

The Mongolian People's Party has said the use of its old name by the group was illegal.

Source:Xinhua News Agency of China


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The indigenous on brink of extinction

By Azartush Najjarian

Multinational corporations are in a race to drain the natural resources in all areas of the world.


People are being treated as mere devices to exploit for profit. As the virtual world grows and the masses are herded into the cities, we see the indigenous peoples of the planet struggle to live in this ever changing matrix. We are witnessing the death of the indigenous populations. It is not my intention to cover the atrocities occurring to all indigenous peoples in this short piece; in addition, volumes of books should be written on this particular subject. Whether we talk about the Native Americans, the indigenous peoples of Brazil, the Aborigines in Australia or the nomadic Turks in Central Asia, we see the threat of extinction. Mongolia is a subject worth exploring. The consequences of corporate occupation are affecting the Mongolian nomads' lives.

The people on the steppe of Mongolia are nomadic herdsmen. This is their way of life and it's all that they know. The main animals they keep are cattle, sheep, goats and the beautiful and famous Mongolian horses. Other animals such as chickens and pigs are kept but not so with the traditional nomads, for chickens and pigs are not the type of animals which can be herded across the vast steppes. The nomads maintain sustenance from the animals producing milk, meat, different cheeses and creams. Life is harsh in Mongolia with temperatures hitting below 40 degrees zero, and the weather can change quickly. The freezing nights incinerate the living, leading to the death of entire herds of animals by morning.

Mongolia has been the target of multi-million dollar companies to sink their tentacles in, as the financial elite have decided to usurp the land of the Mongols for mining. It is a race nowadays to rape Mother Earth of all her innocence and beauty. The competition for the Mongolian mining industry is fierce. Thus, we see major superpowers coming to Mongolia such as Canada, Russia and China, to name a few. The Asian Federation has labeled the Mongolian nomads as terrorists because of their efforts to defend their land. What a convenient word this has become for the authoritarian establishments and governments. After 9/11, the so-called war on terrorism was always blamed on Muslims in particular. However, now that we explore the mendacious and mind-controlling propaganda pumped through the idiot box, it's apparent that a terrorist is often anyone who opposes the government and authoritarian institutions. This is particular in the West.

There is an interesting parable worth noting from WWII about the Nazis. When the Nazis came after the Jews, a certain man did not care because he was not Jewish. Then they came after the gypsies and he again did not care because he was not a gypsy. Thereafter, they came after the Protestants and again he did not worry because he was not a Protestant. Last they came for him and it was too late for anyone to speak out or condemn this tyrannical force because he was the only one left. The indigenous peoples have primordial connections with Mother Earth. Once they are killed off, the lower classes will be next in the food chain and then the middle classes and so on.

Corporate-capitalism is an ancient form of black magic, which operates in a clandestine fashion placing the elite in positions to behave as gods. It is the allegory of a machine without human compassion or reason. Mongolia is a rich, pristine land and has a plethora of precious minerals. It's obvious that these lands will be exploited just like the lands in Africa have been used for diamond and gold mining, precious minerals and the like.

The so-called civilized masses who are slaves to the banking cartels must unplug themselves to the debt machine and totalitarian order which is being created. They probably do not care much about such subjects as it's not directly affecting them at the moment. The elite will continue to behave in this most ominous manner. It is the similitude of when the white colonizers desecrated the holy burial sites of the Native Americans, killed off their buffalos and seized their lands for the same purposes; for exploiting the people of the earth. Military occupations and corporate occupations go hand in hand. There is no ability to fight this system save only with the masses. We have brave Presidents like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Bolivian President Evo Morales coming forth to support the rights of the indigenous populations and others are speaking out. These people are always disparaged in the media and depicted as being insane and fanatical. The truth will appear as a lie and the lie will appear to be the truth.

Speaking and condemning the actions of others will not go so far. There must be a grass roots movement amongst the peoples of any land to oppose the corporate entities and their goals to exploit the natural resources of the people. We can see the indigenous losing their livelihoods and right to self determination just as the middle classes are losing employment, housing and the most basic necessities for survival. The majority, which is us, have to begin to see what the future is turning into. That is an authoritarian establishment, which could also be called a total institution. Protests in Europe have done nothing but gained some slight media attention. Westerners who have written to politicians have accomplished nothing. I have faith that an intellectual and spiritual revolution is possible without violence.

The peaceful alternative would be accomplished by boycotting the main corporations, the promotion of barter systems, gift economies, trading gold, silver and precious metals as our own informal currencies that Western capitalist governments cannot charge interest on, and all other forms of informal economic activities. We are approaching a time in history where the workers and the common people will no longer be able to rely on Western governments to provide sustenance for them such through misanthropic capitalist labor or even food and housing. Therefore, the conditions for surviving are through mutual cooperation built from the masses up. Once the masses can escape capitalism, the corporations, and illegal taxes, thereafter, a theoretical emancipation is possible without violence. The financial elite are behaving as gods because we have granted them this power and played as pawns on their chessboard. Violence is not the answer and revolution does not have to be violent. We are dealing with demonic forces that thrive on our participation to carry out well planned protocols. Once we withdraw from this agenda and provide sustenance and care for each other, the elite will die like in parasitic life form that has to find a host to exist.

The lessons to be learned from the corporate takeover of Mongolia are that these circumstances are not precarious events thousands of miles away. We can see how corporations are affecting our own lives in the cities and suburbs in the West and abroad. These are carefully planned out events and unless we rely on each other we will end up like the indigenous with no capability to take care of our families and loved ones. The choice is ours. We can die slowly through the actions the elite are propagating or we can withdraw from it by mutually cooperating, building federations and withdrawing ourselves from the capitalist and authoritarian forces which threaten our livelihoods on a day to day basis.

Once I heard a gentleman on an alternative radio program and he stated that he did not know how anyone could quite define consciousness. I gave it some thought and the most appropriate definition I could form is that “consciousness is the act of being aware that you are aware.”

We really have to ask ourselves in these ever changing times how many of us are really aware? We are living in an era where realities our given to us like DVDS and our ability to be aware is distorted with what the media, educational institutions, politicians and other authoritarian institutions are programming us with. The indigenous are aware and conscious with nature, love of family and are in peace. We live in the cities and consider their ways primitive and backwards. However, they live in harmony with nature spiritually, organically and physically. The new generations desecrate earth with toxins and synthetics until the land is uninhabitable and then they move to another location and repeat the same cycle. The indigenous populations on this planet are a part of the earth and are needed for the planet's therapeutic well being and health. There is so much we can learn from them if we simply open our minds.

NM/AKM
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Press TV.

Source:Iran Based Press TV



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Mongolia Wants To Step Up Cooperation With Ukraine In Economy, Education, Culture, And Defense Sector

Mongolia wants to step up the cooperation with Ukraine in economy, education, culture, and the defense sector.

Ukrainian News learned this from a statement by the press office of President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine.

According to the statement, President Viktor Yanukovych met with Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj in Davos (Switzerland).

"Our relations must accelerate... There are a number of sectors where we can cooperate," said the President of Mongolia.

According to him, the cooperation in economy, education, culture and the defense sector is the most promising.

He said thousands of students from Mongolia, including the President, studied in Ukraine.

"We can be a good bridge between our countries," he said.

The President said Mongolia can become a reliable partner for Ukraine.

"Mongolia can become a very reliable partner of yours in our part of the world," he said.

President Viktor Yanukovych, for his part, also expressed himself for acceleration of the Ukraine - Mongolia relations.

"The time is ripe for stepping up the relations between Ukraine and Mongolia, and so let us arrange a date for convening a meeting of the intergovernmental commission," said the President of Ukraine.

Yanukovych noted that the place of the meeting of the intergovernmental commission should be arranged at present also. According to Yanukovych, the presidents should provide the effective work of the intergovernmental commission and to define most promising directions of the cooperation.

Yanukovych called for the commodity turnover between the two countries to be expanded essentially.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Ukraine in January 2010 aligned itself with a declaration of the European Union to welcome the introduction of moratorium on death penalty in Mongolia.

In 2006, the Defense Ministry of Ukraine and the Defense Ministry of Mongolia signed a cooperation agreement for 2007.

Source:Ukrainian News Agency


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What does the Senkanku Islands problem have to do with Mongolia?

By Nobuo Tokumatsu, Visiting
Professor, Okinawa Study Center

The dispute over the Senkaku Islands (often referred to as “the Senkaku Islands problem”) derives from territorial claims on the Senkaku Islands that China and Taiwan have been making for the last 40 years.
The situation has not changed during that time, and although the islands continue to be under Japanese control, the government is not taking effective measures against the frequently occurring intrusions into Japanese territorial waters on part of Chinese and Taiwanese vessels. Consequently, the resources of the Senkaku Islands and the continental shelf of the East China Sea cannot be developed and the fishing industry is hampered.

Since the Senkaku Islands are administratively part of Ishigaki City, my home town, I will in this paper consider the problem accordingly from the point of view of Ishigaki Island residents. However, this problem does not only concern China and Japan but has implications for the question of how the security of eastern Asia can be guaranteed. It is also worth considering what relevance it may have for Mongolia, with which China shares much of its long northern border.
Let me give you some background information on the dispute over the Senkaku Islands before returning to the relations between China and Mongolia and considering them against the backdrop of that dispute.
The Senkaku Islands (referred to by China as the Diaoyutai Islands) are a group of small, currently uninhabited, islands located in the southern part of the East China Sea. The largest and westernmost island of that group lies about 190km northeast of Taiwan and 170km north-northwest of Ishigaki, the southernmost city in Okinawa and Japan.
These islands were known and used as navigational markers since before the 16th century and have been uninhabited and unclaimed (terranullius) during most of their known history. However, Japan began to officially survey them in 1885, and in January 14, 1895 declared them officially part of Japan.
From 1896 until 1941 the islands were inhabited and used as a base for fishing operations as well as for agriculture and horticulture, the collection of bird feathers and eggs, and the mining of coral lime stone. After the end of WWII in 1945 the US retained control of Okinawa until 1972 and during that time used two of the islands in the Senkaku Group for military practise. In 1972, the US returned Okinawa, and with it the Senkaku Islands, to Japan.
In 1968, a report form the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (UNECAFE) suggested that “a high probability exists that the continental shelf between Taiwan and Japan may be one of the most prolific oil reservoirs in the world”, and since 1970 both the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan (ROC) have been making claims to the effect that Senkaku Islands were ancient territory of China and belonged to Taiwan.
However, there is no evidence of any surveys, administrative activities, inhabitation, or economic activities on these islands prior to their exploration on part of Japan, and the earliest known formal act declaring sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands is the January 14, 1895, cabinet decision by which they were formally incorporated into the territory of Japan. Japan had ascertained that nobody else claimed sovereignty over these islands.
There is also no evidence, neither in documents from Taiwan nor from China, that the Senkaku Islands have ever been administered by Taiwan or that they have been part of Taiwan–the islands were no-man’s land between Ryukyu and China when Japan incorporated them in early 1885. They were subsequently not mentioned in the Treaty of Shimonoseki, and their occupation and economic use on part of Japanese citizens was never raised as an issue by China.
In addition, China never paid attention to the American occupation of the islands after 1945, and although neither the Republic of China in Taiwan nor the People’s Republic of China were invited to the negotiations leading up to the San Francisco Treaty (1951), both countries would have been in a position to address the issue after the end of the civil war in China (1950).
Finally, Taiwan did not mention the islands during the negotiation of the Treaty of Taipei (1952). That was the time when negotiators would have been equipped with the most detailed information related to Taiwan’s territory, and the omission of those islands from the negotiations indicates that Taiwan was, at that time, not disputing their inclusion in the territory of Okinawa, which at the time was administered by the US.
However, it appears that China suddenly developed an appetite for the islands shortly after the UNECAFE report had appeared.
Now, for most people in Mongolia, the dispute over a few small islands in the East China Sea is likely nothing more than a matter between China and Japan that one need not think much about. But its relevance to Mongolia can easily be made transparent. Rather than relying on my own views in this matter, I would like to refer you to something that (the former?) IIEB chairman, ambassador Doljintseren, wrote in his memoirs.
Doljintseren, who is well-versed in US international politics and is assumed to have had some influence on US strategy as well, explains how Harvard University professor Samuel Huntington’ raised this issue in 1996 in his essay “The Clash of Civilizations” (memoirs, pp 198-200). Huntington starts from Chinese insider information to describe the plausible scenario of China asserting its control over Mongolia with the consequence of war breaking out between China and Russia.
Now this was written 15 years ago. But I think that Robert D. Kaplan, in an article entitled “The Geography of Chinese Power” (published in “Foreign Affairs” in May of this year) offers a suitable contemporary analysis. Kaplan addresses the question of China’s relationship with Mongolia and under the subheading “Creeping Control” we find his suggestion that China “is poised to conquer Mongolia again, after a fashion”. Kaplan’s view will probably be shared in well- informed circles in Mongolia, as well.
I don’t know whether the current (DPJ-led) Japanese government considered Kaplan’s explanation at all when it was faced with the recent incident near the Senkaku Islands (a Chinese fishing boat collided with two Japanese Coast Guard vessels). They can probably neither imagine the insight of English geographer and specialist in geo-politics, H. Mackinder, whom Kaplan introduces at the beginning of his article or the foresight of N. Spykman, who has in many ways been influenced by Mackinder. But this problem that is close to home for me, and I feel compelled to draw attention to it.
Returning to the main issue, the ambassador, in his memoirs, clearly rejects the possibility that China would act on its desire, along the lines of Huntington’s prediction. The reason for that would be that the Chinese and the Mongolians have a different history and are ethnically different. However, it is my view that, if we consider China’s approach to territorial claims that it makes regarding the Senkaku Islands, Huntington’s scenario concerning China and Mongolia , and Kaplan’s recent analysis of the situation, and if we put things together, such a scenario would seem much more plausible.
In other words, China in the 21st century is giving us reasons for concern.


Lecture at Institute of International Economic and Business (IIEB)
January 25th, 2011
Tokumatsu, Nobuo Former Professor of Tokoha Gakuen University
Visiting Professor of IIEB Visiting Professor of The Open University of Japan
Okinawa Study Center
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Inner-Mongolian activist in China still not free and looks malnourished, family says

By Cara Anna, The Associated Press


BEIJING, China - An activist who campaigned for Inner Mongolia's independence from China has made his first contact with family more than a month after he was released from prison, but his uncle says Hada is still being held and appears malnourished.

The uncle, Haschuluu, told The Associated Press on Friday that he was invited to meet Hada on Jan. 21 at a military-run guesthouse in the Inner Mongolian capital, Hohhot.

Haschuluu said he was not comfortable talking about who is holding Hada or why, but he told the U.S.-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center that authorities told him Hada was staying in an "absolutely quiet" place.

Like many ethnic Mongolians, Hada and Haschuluu use just one name.

Hada's case is the latest of Chinese authorities holding someone without explanation after their prison term ended. He was jailed in 1996 on charges of separatism and spying.

While separatism among Mongolians living in Chinese-controlled Inner Mongolia is not well known, it's a sensitive issue for China's government, which fears the spread of the violent ethnic unrest that has hit Tibet and Xinjiang in recent years.

Hada helped found the Southern Mongolian Democratic Alliance, seeking to establish an independent nation in Inner Mongolia. His bookstore in Hohhot became the centre of the movement.

Hada's family has expressed frustration with the mysterious communications surrounding his release. The Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center published two videos this week sent from an unknown email address. The second showed Hada walking with Haschuluu down a street with no one else around.

"Hada is in safe condition, but he's in poor health," Haschuluu said. "They gave him good food, including fruits and vegetables, but he just wouldn't eat them. He looks malnourished."

Haschuluu said neither he nor Hada knows where Hada's wife, Xinna, or son, Uiles, is. Both were detained shortly before Hada's 15-year prison sentence ended last month.

A person answering the telephone at the Inner Mongolia Military Zone Guesthouse in Hohhot, where Haschuluu met with his nephew, had no comment on Hada.

The London-based rights group Amnesty International has called for the release of Hada and his wife and son.

___

Online: http://www.smhric.org/Latest_A.htm

Source:AP


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Mongolia: the pink house of equities

The world’s best-performing stock market last year was, of course, in an emerging economy. But rather than a steel-and-glass tower rising above a heaving megalopolis, it was in a cheerful pink former children’s cinema in Ulan Bator.

This is the Mongolian Stock Exchange, where share prices climbed 121 per cent in local currency terms in 2010 – more than any other market tracked by beyondbrics – and have jumped another 50 per cent this year.

The exchange has 340 or so listed companies, 45 brokers, and sees turnover of about $200,000 on a fast day. Mongolia itself has vast untapped reserves of coal, copper and gold, and because the exchange is open to foreign investment – unlike those in neighboring China – the Soviet-styled cinema house has become a focal point for investors betting that China’s growth will continue to fuel a commodities supercycle throughout the region.

Total capitalisation is now $1.4bn—or roughly one-fifth of Mongolia’s GDP (official GDP data for 2010 hasn’t come out yet).

Driving this growth has been an inflow of new capital, say investors, primarily from foreign funds that are looking to increase their exposure to the Mongolia story.

“We’ve been getting a lot of orders over the last month from our clients and pushing [the exchange] up,” says Lee Cashell, chairman of Asia Pacific Investment Partners, a Mongolia-focused investment group. Because of the small volumes on the exchange, “when you get up to a million USD you can really move the market.”

Anticipating enormous copper and gold revenues over the next decade the Mongolian state is building infrastructure to cope with rising investment.

While this includes physical infrastructure in the form of roads and railways, financial infrastructure is also an important project for the technocratic government.

Mongolia’s prime minister has over the past year repeatedly stressed the need to deepen the capitalisation of the stock exchange, in part through privatising state-owned assets and listing them on both the Hong Kong and the Mongolian exchange.

Sardor Koshnazarov, head of research for Eurasia Capital, says: “Fresh capital and new investors, both institutional and individuals, are coming into the Mongolia equities markets. . . we will not be surprised if Mongolia keeps its title [as best performing stock market] for the whole year again.” According to some analysts, foreign investment accounts for between 10 and 30 per cent of the value of the exchange.

So is Ulan Bator the next big bubble? Not according to Cashell. “It’s not that the stock market is a bubble, it’s more that there is a bottleneck there,” he says, citing the lack of new issuance during the last 18 months. “There is not a lot for sale right now because people expect that prices will continue to go up this year,” he explains.

The exchange could be getting an overhaul soon thanks to a partnership agreement with the London Stock Exchange. In Ulan Bator, traders are already buzzing about the idea of a 24-hour exchange linked with London traders that could boost liquidity in the market. But for now, the pink house seems to be doing just fine.

Source:www.ft.com (Financiall Times, newspaper)


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Ivanhoe rights offering raises $1.8 billion

TORONTO (Reuters) - Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO: Quote) said on Thursday it raised $1.18 billion through a rights offering that will help fund the initial development of its massive Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project in southern Mongolia.

Oyu Tolgoi is one of the world's biggest untapped copper-gold deposits. Its development was delayed for years as Ivanhoe pursued complicated royalty negotiations with the Mongolian government.

The project - 34 percent owned by Mongolia and 66 percent owned by Vancouver-based Ivanhoe - is now moving ahead in partnership with Ivanhoe's largest shareholder -- Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto (RIO.AX: Quote) (RIO.L: Quote).

Ivanhoe said it will issue about 85 million new shares through the rights offering, representing about 99 percent of the maximum number of common shares available under the plan, which was announced in December.

Chief Executive Robert Friedland and Rio Tinto both exercised all of the rights issued to them. Friedland also bought an additional 1.5 million rights on the open market and exercised them to acquire more common shares, the company said.

Friedland's ownership stake now stands at 15.5 percent, while Rio Tinto has maintained ownership of 40.3 percent.

Shares of Ivanhoe rose 2.2 percent at $29.37 in trade before the morning bell.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Frank McGurty)

Source:Reuters News Service


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ABB wins $15MM power transmission order in Mongolia

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth $15 million from Mongolia’s leading mining company, Oyu Tolgoi LLC, to boost the capacity and reliability of existing transmission lines so that more power will reach its gold and copper mines in the Gobi desert, with minimal environmental impact. The order was received in the fourth quarter of 2010.

“This environmentally friendly solution will increase power capacity, improve grid stability and secure power supply to the mine and surrounding areas, contributing to the development of the region,” said Martin Gross, head of ABB’s Grid Systems business, within the company’s Power Systems division.

ABB will design, supply, install and commission two SVCs (static var compensators) by 2012, each with a rating of -100/+100 MVAr (megavolt ampere reactive). SVC is part of ABB’s family of FACTS technologies, which enhance the capacity, security and flexibility of power transmission systems, and make an important contribution to the development of smart grids.

FACTS technologies allow more power to reach consumers with minimal environmental impact, lower investment costs and shorter implementation times than the traditional alternative of building new power plants or transmission lines. They also help address voltage and frequency stability issues and enable the transmission system to run more efficiently. ABB is a global leader in the growing field of FACTS, and has more than 700 such installations in operation or under construction across the world.

Source:ABB


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China's coal imports up 31% in 2010

BEIJING, Jan. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- China imported 164.83 million tons of coal in 2010, up 30.99 percent on the previous year and coal exports declined 15.03 percent for the same period to 19.03 million tons, the Beijing News reported Thursday, citing data from the nation's top economic planner.

The National Development and Reform Commission said Indonesia was the largest coal exporter to China, followed by Australia, Vietnam, Mongolia and Russia. The five accounted for 84 percent of the nation's coal imports.

Last year's coal net imports stood at 145.8 million tons, up 42.37 million tons or 29 percent from the previous year, the report said.

Citibank issued a report earlier, predicting China's net coal imports will surge to 63 percent this year to over 200 million tons, due to the nation's strong demand and high dependence on coal as energy.

Coal industry insiders also believe China will see more coal imports this year, the report said.

(Source: China Daily)



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China willing to deepen pragmatic cooperation with Mongolia: official

ULAN BATOR, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- China hopes to promote political mutual trust and deepen pragmatic cooperation with Mongolia, a senior Chinese official said here Tuesday.

Yan Junqi, vice chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislative body, made the remarks when meeting with Mongolian Parliament Speaker Damdin Demberel and Prime Minister Batbold Sukhbaatar on the sidelines of the 19th Annual Meeting of Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum.

She said China and Mongolia are friendly neighbors and important cooperation partners, adding that China is willing to work together with Mongolia to achieve mutually beneficial cooperation and common development so as to bring more benefits to both sides and the two peoples.

Demberel and Batbold said that consolidating and promoting the good-neighborliness and friendly cooperation with China is one of the priorities of Mongolia's foreign policy.

They added Mongolia is willing to enhance high-level exchanges with China and deepen their pragmatic cooperation in various fields to bring bilateral ties between the two countries to a higher level.

The 19th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum opened on Monday in Ulan Bator, Mongolia's capital.

The forum was established in Tokyo in 1993. Its objective is to promote greater regional identification and cooperation among national parliamentarians in the Asia-Pacific region.

Source:Xinhua News agency of China



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DPRK Joint Statement Hailed in Mongolia

Pyongyang, January 26 (KCNA) -- A solidarity meeting took place in Mongolia on January 19 to support the DPRK joint statement of government, political parties and organizations.

D. Bilegt, general secretary of the Federation of Peace and Friendship Organizations of Mongolia, made an opening address at the meeting, which was followed by speeches.

Ch. Surenjav, chairman of the Mongolia-Korea Friendship Society, said that the important proposal made in the joint statement is very just.

L. Khaisandai, chairman of the Mongolian Mt. Paektu Association for Independent Development, noted that the DPRK advanced various proposals for peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and has striven for their materialization and that the Mongolian people have supported them.

A joint statement of the said Mongolian organizations was adopted at the meeting.

The statement expressed support for the DPRK's stand to improve the inter-Korean relations, promote national reconciliation and unity and make a turning-point in achieving peace and reunification of the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and negotiations.

We are quite sure that when the north and the south of Korea have face-to-face talks they would remove misunderstanding and distrust and have open-hearted discussion on the ways for peace and prosperity, it said.

Source:Korea Central News Agency (North Korea)

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Hunnu Coal ups stake in Unst Khudag Coal Project in Mongolia to 80%

Hunnu Coal

Hunnu Coal (ASX: HUN) was incorporated in Australia for the purpose of acquiring and developing coal projects in Mongolia. The Company operates in Mongolia through its subsidiary company Hunnu Resources LLC, a Mongolian incorporated company.

Through a series of acquisition and joint venture agreements, Hunnu has built a diverse portfolio of exploration tenements spread throughout the various coal basins of Mongolia. The company considers these tenements to be prospective for high quality coking and thermal coals able to be developed for both the domestic and export markets.

Hunnu Coal is positioning itself for increased demand for coal with a pipeline of unique exploration and development projects in strategic locations that will help to provide for future growth and expansion.

Hunnu Coal (ASX: HUN) has acquired a further 15% interest in the Unst Khudag Coal Mine and surrounding licenses including the new Har Toirom Coal Discovery.

Hunnu Coal now has an 80% interest in the Unst Khudag Coal Project which has an initial JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 324 million tonnes (Mt) to a depth of 140 metres.

This Resource is based on less than 30% of the available data and an updated JORC Resource is currently being calculated.

Coal analysis reveals a high quality thermal coal with an average calorific value of 6,784 kcal/kg dry ash free (daf).

The Unst Khudag Coal Project is located in Dundgobi province, Mongolia, and is situated about 180km from the Mongolian railway grid.

The project consists of two exploration licenses and one mining license covering a massive 59,000 hectares of area.

The Unst Khudag Coal Mine aims to provide a high quality premium thermal coal product to service both hungry domestic and Chinese off-take customers and has an Exploration Target of 250Mt to 500Mt.

Source:Hunnu Coal


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Monaco and Red Cross implement a “Cash distribution” project

Khan Bank facilitates distribution
Monaco and Red Cross implement a “Cash distribution” project Khan Bank facilitates distribution The Honorary Consulate of the Principality of Monaco and Mongolian Red Cross Society have successfully implemented a “Cash distribution” Project in Dundgovi province in cooperation with Khan Bank to support
herder households who completely lost their main income — livestock.
Cash was disbursed to 226 Herder families in Dundgobi province who lost all their livestock
Dundgovi province has been one of the most dzud and droughtaffected provinces throughout past years. Last year, during the 2009- 2010 harsh winter dzud, 788,735 head of livestock were lost in the whole province. Therefore, Chandmani D., the Province Governor called an appeal (for support donations) and requested the Honorary Consulate of the Principality of Monaco in Mongolia to provide support for extremely-affected herder households in Delgerkhangai and Saikhan-Ovoo soums of this province. Monaco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was introduced to the request and they decided to donate 50,000 Euros for Dundgobi province. As a result, there was an opportunity to implement a “Cash distribution” project in these 2 soums within framework of the “Humanitarian donation 2010  program of the Mongolian Red Cross Society.
As for the statistical number of livestock of the soums; there are 906 herder households (approx. 3,896 persons) and their livelihood and main income completely depends on livestock products. During the dzud, these 2 soums lost 64 percent of their total livestock (156,257 head of livestock) according to statistics. More specifically, 279 herder households which are 30.8 percent of all herder households lost 100 percent of their livestock. In addition, 807 herder households (89 percent of all total herder households) had lost 50 percent of their livestock.
The poverty index was the main beneficiary selection criteria and a one-time nonrefundable cash distribution was delivered to a total of 226 herder households (1206 people). The main purpose of this cash project was to ensure the basic livelihood of extremely affected herder households and to improve their food and health security standard. Furthermore, it was intended to help herder households with their needs, such as family member education fees, hospital treatment costs, small business start or household’s preparation for winter or any utilization they want.
Basically, the following selection criteria were used to select project beneficiaries in the vulnerable
category.
source: The Mongol Messenger newspaper
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UB has world’s worst air - twice as bad as 2nd place city

UB’s air pollution threatens Mongolia’s genetic fund

Thousands and thousands of chimneys in Ulaanbaatar’s vast gher districts, continuously pour-out thick smoke
President Ts. Elbegdorj pays special attention to air pollution in Ulaanbaatar and in recent days has worked intensively on this matter. On January 13-14, President Elbegdorj visited the 12th Khoroo of Chingeltei District to partake in the ‘Clean Air’ project implemented by the Millennium Challenge Account- Mongolia. During his visit, the President exchanged views with residents on reducing seasonal airpollution. Also, the Citizens’ Hall under the Office of the President of Mongolia held an open discussion on January 17 about a Bill to reduce air  pollution in Ulaanbaatar. On January 13, President Elbegdorj’s working visit kickedoff with  stop at the Model Gher of Millennium Challenge Account- Mongolia. By the proposal of the Government of Mongolia, Millennium Challenge Account-Mongolia initiated the Project ‘Clean Air’ in 2010, with initial research completed in 2009.
The main aim of the project is to reduce burned coal emissions in the air (the root cause of the city’s air pollution) by introducing energy and heat-efficient accommodations and  products in everyday life. The first round of distribution of discounted gher covers has already started in the 12th Khoroo of Chingeltei District.
“Even though use of energyefficient products is one of many ways to reduce urban air-pollution, it is unique in a sense that citizens derive direct economic benefits” said S. Bayarbaatar, Director of the Millennium Challenge Account- Mongolia.
Even on a ‘good day’, air pollution obscures any view of Ulaanbaatar from surrounding hilltops
“We are introducing means to provide more warmth with less financial distress. Residents participating in the project enjoy a  70-80 percent discount on purchasing covers and barns for ghers. Currently, over 7 thousand families have already utilized this offer. We have calculations showing that using additional covers and barns will save heat costs by about 30 percent. Even the residents say they can feel the difference” said S. Mangal, Director of Project ‘Clean Air’ The Family of Munkhjargal, residing in the 12th Khoroo, uses additional covers and barns provided by the project. Their gher is warmer, and is without any smell of coal. “The purchase was discounted by the project and it is very convenient and simple to use. We think that if every gher utilized the covers and energy-efficient stoves, air pollution in the city will no longer be a threat. I would like to call our fellow residents to refrain from using waste and chemical rubbers, and start to use gher
covers,” says Khandkhuu, wife of Munkhjargal.
The family is using an energyefficient stove ‘Silver’ made in Turkey, which produces more than a sufficient amount of heat. Coal consumption has dropped from the previous 2-3 sacks of coal daily, to only half a sack  of coal for 12 hours. Coal particles are completely burned inside the stove without escaping to the outside air, thus eliminating smoke and odor emissions. Project specialists say the price offer for energy-efficient ‘Silver’ will be same as the regular ones.
The stoves in most ghers produce the highest levels of pollution
Following his visit to the Model Gher, President Elbegdorj met with residents of 12th Khoroo, and exchanged views on the means to decrease air pollution. Residents repeatedly stated the reduction of electricity prices at night is the most optimal way. Even though residents make efforts to reduce smoke by using electric heaters at
home, high electricity prices make this practice unpopular. Moreover, discounted distribution of gher covers and energy-efficient stoves will have good results, they said. 
President Elbegdorj has also visited the family of M. Ariunbold, who uses three electronic heaters each of 0.7 kilowatts capacity, as their main solution. “They provide us with more  warmth than using coal. We pay Tgs30
thousand per month for electricity payments, which is two times less than the purchase of coal per month,” they said. Project specialists stated that the heater ‘Teplofon’ is safe for human health, and has a warranty of
15-20 years.
The President of Mongolia previously stated that the level of air pollution has reached the crisis level. “We have to implement efficient measures without losing any more time,” the President said. “The research of some international organizations, show that Ulaanbaatar is a city with the most air pollution in the world. Air pollution in the city following Ulaanbaatar is only half as bad. Today, the health of our residents has deteriorated at an alarming level.
There are newborns with permanent lung-defects and residents living in some areas suffer health damage which equals the smoking of 4-5 packs of cigarettes a day. Almost every patient in hospitals is diagnosed with smoke intoxication, and the urban population suffers 6 times more respiratory and lung diseases than the  rural population. There are more serious concerns as this pollution threatens the genetic fund of the people of Mongolia.” President Elbegdorj added.
“Measures such as the creation of a new energy source, increasing the energy output by renovating existing lines and sub-stations, discounting electricity prices, creating rawcoal free zones, and supporting and intensifying activities of air-pollution projects should be implemented promptly. The National Security Council will discuss this issue without delay, and will pass a specific decision soon,” he concluded.
The next day or on January 14, the president continued his visit to gher areas in Ulaanbaatar and got familiar on-site with how residents deal with the issues of smoke and firewood. First, he visited resident M. Battor’s home. The host said, “I have been living in Ulaanbaatar for about 40 years of which I have been living in Chingeltei District for 29 years. I  never imagined that Ulaanbaatar city would reach today’s disastrous level of pollution. Trying not to pollute our city as much as we could, we heat our house with electricity. Electricity costs are high in winter time, but we do not have any other ways. Using an electric heater has the advantage of being clean and not losing heat.” During this visit, specialists measured air pollution inside Battor’s home with specific equipment and the measurement showed that air pollution inside the home is 8-times higher than the standard level. The measurement made outside showed 20-times higher. The President also saw a miniexhibition of items and products being used to reduce air pollution displayed by resident Battor in his yard. The President said, “There are over 10 methods, even though they are loweffective to reduce air pollution.
They need further experimenting to be introduced into reality. As for gher covers, if gher area residents warm
up their ghers in accordance with the  standard, specialists say that smoke will decrease by 30 percent. It shows the significance of people to fight pollution.”
Later, the President and accompanying officials walked up to Zurkh Mountain in Chingeltei District, where they saw how Ulaanbaatar looks. Specialists and citizens said that it was a slightly better day, but Ulaanbaatar was difficult to be visible and had black fog.
Afterwards, the President chose two families whose ghers’ chimneys emitted black smoke and visited to see what kind of firewood those families were using and how they lived. The first family the president visited was P. Lkhagva’s. The hostess said that the family mostly burns tire rubber to warm the home and rarely uses coal. Really, it smells rubber from the stove.
The family moved from rural area to Ulaanbaatar and the family’s children do not have jobs. Their gher has no
warm cover or firewood outside. The president presented them with warm gher cover.
The family the President visited was burning rubber and wastes. Old man Ch. Baatarnyam did not keep secret his burning waste in order to warm up the gher. The family only has earnings of disability pension. Actually, the survey indicated that the most polluted smoke is made by the poorest families. The President stated, “Unarranged coordination of migration caused the expansion of gher areas, especially the increase of poor families; therefore, it necessitates coordinating migration.” 
On January 17, a Bill on Reduction of Air Pollution of Ulaanbaatar was openly discussed at the Citizen Hall under the Office of the President of Mongolia. Some MPs and officials from relevant ministries, non-government organizations, city administration and Millennium Challenge Account participated and expressed their opinions.
D. Battulga, head of the Office of the President of Mongolia, introduced the Bill. He stated, “At an extended eeting of the National Security Council of Mongolia, held on January 13, an issue on Ulaanbaatar’s smoke and air pollution was discussed and it was decided to make a Law. 
With the  Law, zones where air quality should be improved will be defined and relations in connection with regimes to be enforced and legal status will be  regulated. In the Bill, gher areas so called Denjiin Myanga, Zuun Ail and gher areas in the north to the 3rd micro district have been involved in the zone. It was also stated to reduce existing night tariffs of electricity by 50 percent to Tgs20 per kilowatt, satisfy the reliable operation of electricity meters and electricity substations,  resolve financial issues with the State Budget adjustment, establish a National Committee Against Air Pollution under the Parliament, take legal actions to officials and citizens who break the law, as well as others. We intend to submit this Bill to Parliament on January 21 for discussion.” During the discussion, it was also touched upon about a direction given to government about the construction of a 5th Electric Power Station in Ulaanbaatar. MP S. Oyun asked when it would be possible to complete construction of the 5th Electric Power Station. In turn, D. Battulga said, “The estimation shows that there is potential to receive 40 megaWatts of electricity from Gusinoozersk State Regional Electric Power Station of Russia and produce domestically 25-30 megaWatts. By doing so, 30,000 households can be involved. Gher covers, stoves and heaters will be sold at reduced prices under the Millennium Challenge Account’s project. The 5th Electric Power Station will be constructed on the base of the 3rd Power Station. If it is constructed fast, it is possible to put the first stove into utilization within this year.” A citizen asked, “Air is polluted with dust as well. What has the bill stated about that?” In response, D. Battulga answered, “Ulaanbaatar’s soil has been totally polluted and is impossible to be rehabilitated.” Ulaanbaatar Mayor G. Monkhbayar made a suggestion to exempt equipment required for liquefied gas fuel industry from VAT and customs duty. Also MP L. Gantomor said that heaters meeting with the standard will be involved in concession. Participants in the discussion gave many suggestions such as banning the use of petroleum and diesel fuels with lead, conducting propaganda on dangers of air pollution, using renewable energy, banning the import of used cars as well as others. At the end, Mr. Battulga said that the Working Group would consider all suggestions.
source: The Mongol Messenger newspaper


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New beginning for Stock Exchange

Speaker D.Demberel ringing the opening bell on January 18
The 20th anniversary of establishment of a capital market and Mongolian Stock Exchange in Mongolia is marked in 2011. It is expected that 2011 will be a historically significant year for MSE and the capital market. The reason is, major mining and infrastructure projects will raise money through stock exchange in the near future and the London Stock Exchange has been selected to manage the MSE. “The year 2011 will be a historical period to start legal reform of Mongolia’s capital market, establish national powerful share holding companies and start implementing reforms of techniques, technology and management of professional securities organizations,” said R. Sodkhuu, Executive Director of MSE.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of MSE, Parliament Speaker D. Demberel opened the 3,885th trading day of the capital market on January 18 by ringing the bell. He said, “Along with development of the economy, an increase of construction and investment and cooperation at the international level, it necessitates developing a capital market much more. Especially, the capital market, with optimal management, is so vital to implement major mining and infrastructure projects by means of attracting domestic and foreign investment, a nd to organize distribution of benefits to people from projects effectively. Government adheres to the direction  of taking action to operate the MSE in connection with well-known foreign stock exchanges, learn experiences from them, develop infrastructure of capital market, modernize techniques and technology, qualify personnel and improve management and organization. Parliament will focus on improving the capital marketrelated legal environment and making  applicable State Policy clear.”
Within the past 20 years, 474 companies have been registered at the MSE and traded 738.3 million shares with Tgs 262.5 billion, and 3.1 million bonds with Tgs215.1 billion in total, Tgs477.6 billion by 3873 trade. Presently, the MSE registered 448,717 domestic and foreign share holders, investors and entities and received dividends worth Tgs109.6 billion over the past 20 years.
At the MSE, there are 340 brokers and national specialists from 48 professional organizations who have rights to run stock exchange trade and services. R. Sodkhuu said, “We welcomed 2011 with the achievements that basic indications of the capital market grew, national companies strengthened, and overcame the crisis.
Last year, MSE’s TOP-20 index grew to 15039.97 and market estimation was measured at a trillion for the first time in its history, increasing to Tgs1.4 trillion.” In 2010, the MSE traded 64.5 million shares of 136 companies with Tgs62.9 billion through its 253 trades and 3000 government bonds with Tgs30 billion, carrying out transactions worth Tgs92.9 billion in total.
The London Stock Exchange’s first team arrived in Mongolia and the sides are working to set clauses  of the Master Agreement to be established by the two sides. Through mid February, the London Stock Exchange’s director liable for foreign relations will arrive in Mongolia. “The London Stock Exchange promised to make MSE its main partner in Asia and a stock exchange that meets the world standard. We believe that MSE’s development will rise to a new level and the economy will grow considerably in the next two years,” said D. Sugar, chief of State Property Committee.
Mongol Bank’s deputy governor N. Zoljargal who was MSE’s first director said, “Of course, the world standard team is different. I believe it  will bring good results. On the other side, I am sure that the Government will give it its attention. The MSE is not the kind that will compete with Hong Kong and New York stock exchanges; however, the main thing is to ensure the market operates. The economy does not develop by depending on the stock exchange. Instead, other mechanisms develop by depending on economic demand. In my vision, Mongolia’s economy will have faster growth in the next 5-10 years. For instance, Mongolia will have the fastest economic growth in Asia by 2015. Following it, the capital market may show faster growth in Asia.

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Now, coal-rich Mongolia on Indian steel majors’ radar

Close on the heels of deciding to venture into Afghanistan for exploring the Hajigak iron ore mine, domestic steel giants have now set their sights on coal-rich Mongolia.

The International Coal Ventures Limited (ICVL), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) of mineral and metal PSUs, is all set to put forth a pre-qualification bid to develop the western block of Tovan Tolgoi coal deposits in Mongolia. At the behest of the steel ministry, the ICVL has nearly finalised the details for putting up the bid.

In course of a recent meeting, convened by the top brass of the mines ministry to ascertain the interests of domestic steel giants to invest in Mongolia, steel secretary P K Mishra asked ICVL chairman C S Verma to venture ahead and respond to Mongolia’s offer to Indian companies in putting up the bid. An estimated investment of Rs 10,000 crore would be required to operationalise the mine and expand the choked railway infrastructure there.
Verma, who is also chairman of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), told the meeting that the current mining lease of the said coal mine was valid for only 15 years and since there was a ceiling of 47 per cent for foreign direct investment, ICVL may have to rope in a local partner.

ICVL is seeking to ensure to ensure imported metallurgical coal supply of at least 10 per cent of 2019-20 requirements of SAIL and RINL (around 5 million tonnes per annum) from overseas assets.

Verma and other representatives of the ICVL said that due to inadequate infrastructure in Mongolia, coal could be evacuated either through China or Russia by railway and thereafter ports.

At the meeting, mining secretary S Vijay Kumar assured all possible help to facilitate companies for submission of the pre-qualification bid. “Submission of the bid will give a foothold and pave way for further dialogue and smaller issues could be subsequently resolved,” he told representatives of ICVL and other steel firms, according to the minutes of the meeting.

A Tata Steel representative suggested that his company was open for a consortium approach for the bid and suggested that services of RITES and Indian Railway Construction Company Limited could be utilised for development of infrastructure and Tovan Tolgoi. A senior ministry of external affairs official said that the Mongolian Parliament is vested with powers to approve grant of mineral concessions and the country’s government was squarely dependent on it for vetting all proposals.

Source:www.indianexpress.com
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Mongolia makes tracks to escape neighbour

In October, a train with 30 coal wagons left Ulan Bator destined for the Russian port of Vostochny, the first rail freight service to link the Mongolian capital with the Pacific coast. It took four days to travel the 4,769km.

Waved off by Russian and Mongolian dignitaries, the train was important because of where it did not go. The coal came from Tavan Tolgoi, a vast and largely untapped reserve in the South Gobi Desert, which also happens to be less than 200km from the border with China.Landlocked and long ignored, Mongolia is using an instrument of 19th-century geopolitics – railway-building – as a means of navigating 21st-century globalisation.The country is at one of the sweet spots of the global economy. It sits atop huge deposits of the commodities that China needs to feed its growth. Yet Mongolia is also one of the countries most unsettled by China’s rise. Having freed themselves from Soviet rule two decades ago, Mongolians fear they will be smothered by China. To avoid becoming captive to Chinese demand, Mongolia is planning an expensive rail network to link into Russia, its Pacific ports and, beyond that, to other Asian markets.

“The opportunity to go to an eastern Russian seaport provides us with some comfort,” says Sukhbaatar Batbold, Mongolia’s prime minister. “We want to create a balance of interests among the partners working with Mongolia.”

Mongolia’s insecurity is an acute version of the anxiety that is starting to be felt across Asia, and which could yet become a barrier to China-led integration of the region.

The dynamism of the Chinese economy has never been more attractive in Asia. China’s urbanisation plans and growing consumer market are likely to make it the anchor of the regional economy for several decades to come.
Yet amid signs that China is more determined to flex its diplomatic muscles, Mongolia is not the only Asian nation worried about being pushed around. South Korea, Japan and Vietnam have all strengthened military ties with the US over the past year.

As well as Tavan Tolgoi, southern Mongolia also boasts Oyu Tolgoi, a huge deposit of copper and gold. Even before these mega-mines begin production in earnest, China is already taking 70 per cent of Mongolia’s exports.

With only one railway line crossing the Chinese border, some of this trade must go by truck along precarious roads. A private company had been planning to build a short rail link running south from Tavan Tolgoi to China. Instead, Mongolia’s parliament approved a very different plan – a 1,500km rail link to the north-east, where it will connect with Russia’s Trans-Siberian network. New lines to China are still planned, but priority has been given to the Russian connection.

As Elbegdorj Tsakhia, Mongolia’s president, puts it: “We need more doors to our neighbours.”

In a symbolic touch, the new track will use the Russian 1,520mm gauge, rather than the smaller standard used in China and elsewhere. (Russia also has a 50 per cent stake in the Mongolian rail network.) Trains to China will need to pause at the border for the cargo to change chassis – an operation that can take hours.

The plan has been criticised by external experts. The World Bank estimates it costs three times as much to transport resources from the new mines to Russia than it does to China, while profit margins on exporting to the rest of Asia via a Russian port could be less than a 10th of those earned by transit through China.

But supporters of the Russia rail project point to Beijing’s treatment of the one rail line already linking China and Mongolia. Mongolia’s dominant religion is similar to Tibetan Buddhism. When the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader loathed in Beijing, visited Ulan Bator in 2002, Chinese authorities closed the rail link for more than a day, stranding passengers.

The rail link to Russia is part of a broader industrial strategy. It goes through Sainshand, a city where the government wants to build a copper smelter and oil refinery as part of a push to retain more of the economic value from its resources.

“China’s growth brings us a huge chance to develop and prosper,” says Sanjaasuren Oyun, a former foreign minister. “But we do not want to simply become the raw material supplier to just one country.”

While Soviet policies caused huge devastation to Mongolian society, Mongolians also remember centuries of conflict with China. The instinct to play the two giants off against each other is deeply ingrained.

“Mongolian society has a sense of cultural alienation from China and fears that growing economic dependence on its powerful neighbour might evolve into political subservience,” says Munkh-Ochir Dorjjugder, researcher at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Ulan Bator. “This outweighs all rational calculations of the immediate economic benefit and dwarfs any advice or opinion of western experts.”

Yet while Mongolia is fixated on the perceived threat from China, the country of just 3m people spends just as much time discussing how it will spend all the money from its China-related boom.

Ulan Bator has become one of the many mining boomtowns spawned by Chinese demand. Construction cranes dominate the skyline.

Before the financial crisis, Mongolia went through its own form of resource populism. As western societies became obsessed with rising house prices, Mongolians tracked the soaring copper price. Mongolia’s two main parties outbid each other to award cash payments from future mining revenue: when one offered each citizen $800, the other offered $1,200. “There is an old saying about dividing the skin of a bear before it has been hunted down,” says Ms Oyun.

When the crisis caused commodity prices to slump, Mongolia found itself facing a budget shortfall and a humbling visit to the International Monetary Fund for a $232m loan, which has now been repaid.

Since the crisis, a coalition government comprising the two main parties has pushed through two important reforms designed to control rash spending of its commodity dividend. Based on the experience of Chile, a fiscal stabilisation fund will set aside money for long-term development.

The economy will also have to navigate the capital inflows that will start from 2013, when operations at the two large mines in the south start to ramp up. The central bank is trying to develop tools to prevent sharp currency appreciation, which could damage non-mining sectors. As Lhanaasuren Purevdorj, governor of the central bank, says: “Our currency war begins in 2013.”

Source:Financial Times, newspaper of UK

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