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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

[ERD extends Bayan Khundii; apt. prices continues fall; Erdenes TT resumes outpuot; NBC buys 10.5% in TFG; and US Emb. launching AQ monitor]

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original

 

Overseas Market

ERD closed -6.67% on the announcement to C$0.14

Erdene Extends Bayan Khundii's Striker Zone Down Dip With 9.9 g/t Gold Over 15 Metres, and Along Trend With 16 g/t Gold over 12 Metres

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 14, 2015) – Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene" or "Company"), is pleased to announce final results from the remaining nine holes of its 15 hole, maiden drill program completed in Q4 2015 at its wholly-owned Bayan Khundii Gold Project ("Bayan Khundii") in southwest Mongolia. This latest round of drilling has established lateral and vertical extensions of the high-grade Striker Zone at Bayan Khundii.

Highlights

·         Mineralization in Striker Zone extended at depth with 26 m of 5.9 g/t gold, including 15 m of 9.9 g/t gold (hole BKD-09)

·         Step-out hole, located 60 m southeast of hole BKD-09, intersected 35 metres of 5.7 g/t gold from surface, including 12 metres of 16.0 g/t gold (hole BKD-10)

·         High-grade veins confirmed within hole BKD-10; 1 m of 167 g/t gold

·         Visible gold observed in 10 of the 15 holes drilled in Q4 2015

·         Gold mineralization now confirmed through drilling over 475 m area, and open along strike and at depth

·         Additional drilling and metallurgical testing expected during the first half of 2016 

The maiden drill program commenced on November 8, 2015 and consisted of 15 angled (45 to 60 degree) diamond drill holes ('PQ' size core) totaling 695 metres. Drill hole depth ranged from 31 m to 70 m (average 46 m) with maximum true vertical depth of approximately 50 m. The table below summarizes the drill results received for the final nine of 15 drill holes. Results of the first six drill holes, reported on December 9, 2015, are included in the table for reference.

Table 1 – Bayan Khundii drill results

Bayan Khundii Drill Program Q4 2015

Link to release

 

SGQ last traded Thursday at C$0.30, 1878 trading -5.1% Tuesday morning

SouthGobi Resources Announces Retirement of W. Gordon Lancaster as Independent Director

HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - December 14, 2015) - SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX: SGQ)(HKSE: 1878) ("SouthGobi" or the "Company") today announces that Mr. Gordon Lancaster has retired as an independent non-executive director, chairman of the Compensation and Benefits Committee, and member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and Audit Committee of the Company in order to focus on his consulting business and family, effective on December 14, 2015.

Mr. Ningqiao Li, Chairman of the Board, said, "Since joining the Board in 2010, Gordon has made outstanding contributions to the Company with his professional expertise and extensive experience. On behalf of SouthGobi, I would like to thank Gordon for his dedication and contributions to the Company and wish him the best."

Link to release

 

TPO last traded A$0.18 on October 27

Tian Poh Shares in Trading Halt Pending Announcement of Development in Projects

December 15 -- Tian Poh Resources Limited (ASX Code: TPO) requests a trading halt from the Australian Securities Exchange effective immediately pending release of an announcement of a development in relation to one of the Company's projects.

TPO requests the trading halt last from receipt of this request until release of the announcement. In any event no later than commencement of trading on Thursday the 17th of December 2015.

TPO is not aware of any reason why the trading halt should not be granted.

Link to release

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Local Market

BDSec Leads in Stock, Novel Investment in T-Bill Trading Last Week

December 14 (MSE) Mongolian Stock Exchange organized 5 securities trading sessions and made transaction of MNT5.3 billion with daily average transaction of MNT1,073,583,472.64 in period between 07 December 2015 and 11 December 2015.

Share trading:

425,334.00 shares of 50 joint stock companies worth of MNT233,481,263.22 were traded.

Most actively traded securities

 

Securities Name

Value /MNT/

1

MRX

GOVI

72,309,4400

2

BDSC

BDSec

47,959,372

3

ETR

E-TRANS LOGISTICS

29,969,205

4

ATR

ATAR URGUU

20,215,000

5

NEH

DARKHAN NEKHII

16,356,400

 Most active brokerage companies 

 

Company Name

Value /MNT/

1

BDSC

BDSec

413,991,108

2

STIN

Standard investment

14,515,137

3

GNDX

Gendex

4,558,890

4

DELG

Delgerkhangai securities

4,327,410

5

 DRBR

Darkhan broker

4,264,510

Government retail bonds trading:

50,091 Government retail bonds worth of MNT5,009,100,000.00 /5 billion/ traded through one trading session. 

Most active brokerage companies for Government securities trading

 

Company Name

Value /MNT/

1

NOVL

Novel investment

5,007,200,000

2

SECP

Secap

1,200,000

3

GLMT

Golomt securities

700,000

662 government retail bonds traded on secondary market of Government securities trading and total of 125,336,100.00 transaction has been  made.  

 

Company Name

Value /MNT/

1

BZIN

Daewoo Securities Mongolia 

91,926,900

2

NOVL

Novel investment

25,699,660

3

BDSC

BDSec

6,739,540

As of 11 December 2015, market capitalization was MNT1,221,432,978,809.00 which indicated decrease of 0.97% and MSE ALL index reached 866.58 units which indicated decrease of 0.74% from the previous week.  

Link to release

 

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 +0.69%, ALL +0.39%, ₮555.6 Million Stocks, ₮1.8 Million T-Bills

December 14 (MSE) --

Link to report

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Economy

BoM MNT Rates: Monday, December 14 Close

 

 

12/14

12/11

12/10

12/9

12/8

12/7

12/4

12/3

12/2

12/1

11/30

11/27

11/26

11/25

11/24

11/23

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/usd.png

USD

1,996.02

1,994.16

1,997.42

1,997.56

1,997.36

1,997.04

1,996.90

1,996.77

1,995.86

1,995.39

1,994.83

1,994.28

1,994.36

1,993.81

1,993.84

1,993.42

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/eur.png

EUR

2,188.04

2,184.20

2,196.46

2,180.44

2,172.23

2,164.39

2,169.73

2,114.28

2,120.70

2,111.82

2,111.63

2,118.72

2,115.62

2,129.09

2,121.55

2,118.01

JPY

16.46

16.35

16.40

16.28

16.23

16.19

16.26

16.18

16.22

16.24

16.24

16.30

16.26

16.30

16.25

16.18

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/gbp.png

GBP

3,030.06

3,021.15

3,030.49

3,003.33

3,005.23

3,009.64

3,012.82

2,981.88

3,008.66

3,013.44

3,000.22

3,012.46

3,010.39

3,007.96

3,019.77

3,019.93

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/rub.png

RUB

28.44

28.86

28.88

28.84

28.88

29.13

29.51

29.45

29.94

30.09

29.90

30.10

30.37

30.46

30.37

30.46

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/cny.png

CNY

309.07

308.95

310.28

310.91

311.21

311.66

312.09

312.14

311.92

311.85

311.81

311.88

312.13

312.07

312.06

311.96

Bank rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮1,990 Sell ₮1,999), Khan (Buy ₮1,990 Sell ₮1,999), Golomt (Buy ₮1,989 Sell ₮1,999), XacBank (Buy ₮1,991 Sell ₮1,999), State Bank (Buy ₮1,992 Sell ₮1,999)

MNT vs USD (blue), CNY (red) in last 1 year:

Link to rates

 

BoM issues 211.5 billion 1-week bills at 13%, total outstanding -7.4% to ₮429.6 billion

December 14 (BoM) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 211.5 billion at a weighted interest rate of 13.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release

 

Inflation Falls to 2.9% from 3.4% in November, Core Inflation Up from 4.8% to 5.3% in Ulaanbaatar

December 11 (BoM) --

 

National

Ulaanbaatar

 

Monthly

YTD

Annual

Monthly

YTD

Annual

Core

2015/11

0.2

2.1

2.9

0.6

1.3

1.9

5.3

2015/10

-0.7

1.9

3.4

-1.1

0.8

1.9

4.8

2015/09

-0.8

2.6

4.9

-0.9

1.9

3.9

6.1

2015/08

0.1

3.4

6.6

0.1

2.8

5.9

7.2

2015/07

0

3.3

6.9

0.1

2.7

6.6

7.3

2015/06

-0.1

3.2

7.3

0.1

2.6

7.1

9.6

2015/05

0.4

3.3

8

0.1

2.5

7.5

10.2

2015/04

0.9

2.9

9.2

0.8

2.4

8.8

11

2015/03

0.8

1.9

9.3

0.8

1.5

8.8

11.9

2015/02

0.4

1.1

9.3

0.2

0.7

8.5

12

2015/01

0.7

0.7

9.8

0.5

0.5

9.3

12.3

2014/12

0.8

11

11

0.6

10.7

10.7

12.6

2014/11

0.7

10.1

11.5

0.6

10.1

11.9

13.6

Link to release (Mongolian, English not working)

 

UB Housing Price Index Falls 0.3% in November, Down 10.9% from 2014

December 14 (BoM) --

Consolidated

New housing

Old housing

Index change /from 2013.01 base/

6.7%

19.7%

-0.3%

From previous month

-0.3%

0.8%

-1.7%

From year beginning

-10.3%

-5.6%

-14.2%

From previous year

-10.9%

-5.5%

-14.9%

Link to release (in Mongolian)

 

Tax revenue falls 4% in first 11 months from 2014

December 14 (news.mn) The Mongolia National Statistics Office of has provided social and economic data for the first eleven months of 2015. The Social Insurance fund has provided payments and benefits of MNT 135.6 billion to 192,700 people. The number of the people, on social insurance has reduced by 5.1% (10,400 people), and the amount of benefit payment being made has increased by MNT 7.4 billion (5.8%).

Total taxation revenue fell by 4%, MNT 182.7 billion, in comparison to 2014. The reduction has been caused by the MNT 318.6 billion of the value added tax, MNT 51.9 billion income tax, and MNT 33.2 billion of the foreign operation income.

Revenue from excise tax has increased by 29.5%, MNT 121.7 billion (Mogi: must be petroleum), from social insurance increased by 6.8% MNT 58 billion, and from other tax es by MNT 32.6 billion.

Link to article

 

Templeton Emerging Markets Income Fund Falls 0.38% in 3 Months, Mongolia Allocation Remains 1%

December 15 (Cover Mongolia) 1% of $573,845,131 ($5.73 Million) as of November 30 vs 1% of $576,069,222 ($5.76 million) at end of August vs 1.1% of $605,647,090 ($6.66 million) at end of May.

--

 

OPINION | Mongolia 2016 : The Light At The 'End of Tunnel' by Dr. Stefan Hanselmann

December 14 (IndraStra) If the development of the last quarter of 2015 can serve as an indicator, we can eventually expect for next year some real light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, Mongolia had to learn the hard way that trust and a good reputation within the public domain is hard earned but easily lost. Whether it is Mongolian citizens or international investors – in the end both were equally disenchanted and somewhat at a loss over the question why Mongolian politicians found it so hard to rally for the common cause of keeping Mongolia´s investment story alive.

Improved Economic Outlook

Chances are good that 2016 will be a turning point. For one, there is the recovery of the international copper market. Projections for 2016 done by the International Copper Study Group indicate that the market should see a small deficit of around 130,000 metric tons as demand growth outpaces production growth. This reflects changes in market conditions over the course of 2015. After all, global production cuts are starting to turn the table in favor of the supply side. Secondly, Rio Tinto announced in December 2015 that it could secure the financing for the development of its underground mine. Although the effect on the Mongolian economy won´t be immediate and certainly not as staggering as the years 2010 to 2012, the US$2.5b USD that will be invested in the country from 2016 onwards will stabilize the economy, ease tensions on the labor market and create additional employment not only with the Oyu Tolgoi company, but also with domestic suppliers of goods and services. Projections for the labor market estimate that by 2018 at least 40,000 additional technical staff will be required in Mongolia's mineral resource sector and in the upstream and downstream industries, particularly in electrical, construction, and mechanical occupations. However, the training market is currently unable to satisfy this need – neither in terms of quality nor quantity. Given all the construction and industrial projects the government plans to implement, it will be of utmost importance to have Mongolian experts engineer the projects and operate the machines. But creating value within the country starts with a proper education of future generations.

As some of the urgently needed foreign direct investment will return to the country, 2016 will see an improved balance of payment situation. With disputes over seized licenses settled and new exploration licenses issued, the government will continue to send a strong message that it is open for business. The inflow of foreign capital will also help to prop up the Mongolian currency, so that the Central Bank can ease its interventions on the currency market in order to keep the Mongolian Tugrik below the politically and psychologically important rate of 2000 MNT to the US Dollar.

Economic Diversification

The government will continue to pay close attention to the diversification of the Mongolian economy and improved competitiveness of the agricultural and meat sector. More agreements with additional meat processing plants in export markets such as Russia and China can be expected. This will help to promote private investment for agriculture and the dairy and meat industry. More importantly, it will help to expand and diversify the labor market that, like the economy as a whole, overly depends on the mining industry. In this regard it will be also very interesting so see if and how the Chinese "New Silk Road Initiative" will be incorporated into the Mongolian economic diversification strategy. And of course, which economic potential can be unlocked in Mongolia´s western region once the new road connecting Mongolia´s Bayan Ulgii and Hovd aimags with Urumqui in China and Bysk in Russia will be completed.

Political Change is Looming – Once Again

So, will everything be good next year? Like so often in Mongolia, the answer will wholly depend on the political process which will once again be shaped by parliamentary elections in June 2016. Much is at stake for the established political parties. Having seen 13 governments come and go within 23 years, the electorate is acutely aware of the need for political stability. So are foreign investors. The next government will be once again a coalition, hopefully born from a true spirit of national unity. The people of Mongolia deserve it, the country needs it.

About The Author

Dr. Stefan Hanselmann is director of the German development assistance program Integrated Mineral Resource Initiative. The program advises on sustainable social and economic development on a national as well as regional level. He works in Ulaanbaatar since 2008. His special areas of interest are development of resource-driven economies and regional economic integration.

Link to article

 

How Powerful Is Mongolia?

December 12 (TestTube) Genghis Khan's Mongolia once covered a fifth of the earth, and seemed poised to take over the rest. So how powerful is Mongolia today?

Link to video

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Politics & Legal

MPP reiterates demand to discuss election law immediately

December 14 (infomongolia.com) The Mongolian People's Party (MPP) called a press conference on December 14, 2015 regarding its Party "Baga Khural" (Conference of Representatives) held two days ago.

Chairman of MPP M.Enkhbold and Secretary General J.Munkhbat were present at the press conference.

According to Chairman M.Enkhbold, MPP has discussed candidate nomination and its spending for the 2016 election. Moreover, MP M.Enkhbold said that MPP will continue its protest to urge the Government to start discussion on the Election Law.

Last week, 21 political parties demanded the Parliament to adopt the Election Law immediately and showed their protest by burning a fake electronic voting machine, known as a "black election machine" among people, at Chinggis Khaan Square.

Link to article

 

Is D.Terbishdagva Resigning as MPRP Deputy Chairman?

December 14 (news.mn) There are reports that Member of Parliament D.Terbishdagva is going to request being dismissed from the post of Deputy Chairman in the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party. Last week, he also refused the appointment of director of the "Justice Union Group" in Parliament.

Some politicians are assuming that these actions of the D.Terbishdagva are connected with the proposal for N.Enkhbayar to be Deputy Prime Minister, as well as pressure from the heads of the party. Possibly, it is because Mr Terbishdagva is unable to bargain on these positions.

It can be noted that a few months ago, when the ministers from the Mongolian People's Party were dismissed from the Government few months ago, Mr Terbishdagva also refused the post of Deputy Prime Minister.

Link to article

 

Project launched to improve people's involvement in law-making

Ulaanbaatar, December 14 (MONTSAME) A opening of the Project on Improving Citizens' Participation in Law-making through E-Governance launched December 11 at the State House. The project is managed by the State Great Khural secretariat, Social Advancement–Women's Movement NGO, and is supported by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNIDEF).

General Secretary of parliament B.Boldbaatar said this project is one of the actions being implemented to enable the people' more active participation in the legislative processes as a  follow-up of the adoption of Law on Legislations, General Administrative Law and the Law on Public Hearing. Then, together with a head of the Social Advancement–Women's Movement NGO Ms S.Odontuya he signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation.

The implementation will be developing the platform/website and application, capacity-building, intensifying the people's utilization of application and website, and ensuring a sustainability.

Link to article

 

Mogi: richest aimag

Umnugovi Aimag provided housing to 1,272 families since 2013

December 14 (infomongolia.com) The authority of Umnugovi aimag provided housing to 1,272 families within its intensive public housing program that started in 2013.

The program has provided apartment to 431 people in 2013 and 336 in 2014. In 2015, the construction of apartment for 505 households was launched and 70 residents could receive their apartments as of September 2015.

Umnugovi aimag's authority has allocated 12.8 billion MNT (Tugrug) to its intensive public housing program from its budget in 2013-2015.

Link to article

 

PM Saikhanbileg Works in Arkhangai, Attends Road Opening

December 14 (UB Post) Mongolian Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg participated in the opening ceremony of the 100 km hard-paved road from Khalzanburgedei to Solongotiin Davaa in Tariat soum, Arkhangai Province on December 12.

During the opening ceremony, the Prime Minister said that the road will improve transportation and become the central point that connects Ulaanbaatar to the western region of Mongolia. He added that the government is implementing a project with South Korea to supply 200 new buses for inter-provincial transportation through a soft loan next year.

After the road opening, Ch.Saikhanbileg visited newly-built kindergartens, a school sports complex and housing projects. Mongolia's first sports school was built in Tsetserleg soum, Arkhangai Province two years ago, which is equipped with judo and freestyle wrestling halls, swimming pool, football field and dormitory that houses over 100 students.

Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg thanked school teachers for creating a comfortable area for students for learning and exercising, and expressed his wish for the school to educate many future Olympic medalists and world champions.

Apartments for 1,000 households was recently built in Arkhangai Province, which only had apartments for 36 people before 2013.

The Prime Minister said Minister of Construction and Urban Planning Z.Bayanselenge and Executive Director of the Ulaanbaatar Housing Corporation A.Gantulga will conduct a market research for an apartment rental program in Arkhangai Province and submit it for discussion by Parliament. The Construction Minister believes this program is worth experimenting in Ulaanbaatar and other regions.

During his visits to kindergartens, the Prime Minister appraised the kindergartens' construction and presented toys worth one million MNT from his own budget.

Link to article

 

Standing Committee on Petitions Receives 262 Enquiries in November

Ulaanbaatar, December 14 (MONTSAME) Head of the parliamentary Standing committee on petitions O.Baasankhuu Monday gave a report on messages addressed to the State Great Khural (parliament) about requests and complaints.

In November of this year, parliament received 262 letters and messages, of which 199 messages were addressed to the Speaker and MPs, and 63--to the Standing committee on petitions. 189 messages and letters are about personal and working affairs, 19--proposals or initiatives from citizens, two--about complaints and one was a demand.

The Standing committee has replied to 71 requests out of the 262 messages, and is studying feasibility of 52 requests so far.

As classifying contents of the messages, 96 of them were matters of the population development and social welfare, 46--legal issues, 12--construction and urban development, 11--education, culture and science, 18--labor issues, 7--environment, green development and tourism, 5--health and sport, 4--budget and financial matters, 3--foreign affairs and industrial issues each, 2--mining affairs, and one--cabinet secretariat, food and agriculture each.

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Business

Mongolia's Erdenes TT Resumes Coal Output After 16-Month Halt

December 14 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's largest state-run coal miner has restarted production at its main pit after work halted work for 16 months, according to its chief executive officer.

Excavation of the East Tsankhi pit resumed on Dec. 11 and coal production will commence after about 20 days, Bilgee Tumur, CEO of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC, said by phone. The restart will allow Erdenes TT to resume deliveries of coking coal to Aluminum Corporation of China, or Chalco. The Mongolian company owes Chalco $115 million, which it pays off with deliveries of coal to the smelter.

Singapore-based contract miner TTJVCo LLC has taken over operations at East Tsankhi from Macmahon Holdings Ltd., according to Erdenes TT's website. The Australian company stopped work last year following a dispute over payments.

Erdenes TT agreement with TTJVCo includes payment in coal worth $25 million, said Bilgee.

Production at the company's second pit at West Tsankhi stopped in October, after contracts expired with local three miners, said Bilgee, without giving a time-frame for resumption.

The east and west deposits contain around 4 billion tons of coking coal. A consortium of companies including China's Shenhua Energy Co. remains locked in negotiations on developing the deposit.

Erdenes TT has exported 3.8 million tons of coal this year versus 5.7 million tons in 2014. Mongolia's coal exports reached 12.9 million tons through the first 11 months compared to 16.9 million tons in the same period a year ago.

(BN)

 

National Bank of Canada Buys Stake in Mongolian Bank (Correct)

December 14 (Bloomberg) -- National Bank of Canada has paid $15 million for a 10.5 percent stake in the holding company that controls XacBank LLC, one of Mongolia's top four banks.

The purchase of a stake in XacBank parent, micro-lender TenGer Financial Group, was completed last week, Marie-Pierre Jodoin, head of public affairs and investor relations at the National Bank of Canada, said in an e-mail.

"XacBank is known for its financial soundness, good governance standards and risk management. This is a tactical investment done via our current long-term portfolio,'' Jodoin said.

Some 7.5 percent of the XacBank stake was purchased from the Portland-based U.S. charity Mercy Corps. The remaining 3 percent came from International Finance Corp. and other shareholders, said Jodoin.

Mercy Corps said in a press release that it will use proceeds from the share sale to fund business educational programs in rural areas. TenGer has been working since it was set up in 2001 to help Mongolia's nomadic herders and small business owners open savings accounts and tap into credit lines.

The program has received $1 million in funding from the U.S. government, according to Mercy Corps.

The share sale is the first strategic investment by a foreign commercial bank in the Mongolian banking system, according to Ulaanbaatar-based advisory firm NovaTerra, which advised Mercy Corps on the deal.

(BN)

 

Mayor Regrets Abdul Karim's Decision to Cancel Auction Buy Over Public Scrutiny

December 9 (UB Post) Last weekend, Abdul Karim sent an official letter to the State Privatization Commission, requesting to cancel his purchase of the Ulaanbaatar Times printing factory.

The printing factory, which covers an area of 2,698 square meters, was auctioned on November 30, and Abdul Karim won with the highest bid of 24 billion MNT. Abdul Karim is a Qatar-born Mongolian citizen, but many people questioned his legal rights to purchase the state-owned property on social media. The public became curious about the identity of the winning bidder, and media outlets shared interviews about Karim with people who claimed to have information about him.

Abdul Karim explained in his application for cancellation that various comments on social media caused him to reconsider the purchase of the Ulaanbaatar Times printing factory.

"I'm deeply upset that media outlets and social media have been spreading unpleasant and false information about me and my family. After consulting with my wife and son, I've decided to cancel my decision," he stated.

Mayor of Ulaanbaatar E.Bat-Uul sent a letter to Abdul Karim in regards to his decision. "I don't know what exactly caused you to change your mind, but if various rumors and comments on social media made you change your decision, I'd like to express my deepest regrets," he wrote in the letter.

Mayor E.Bat-Uul stated that Mongolia was democratic and that the people of Mongolia have the right to freedom of speech and to freely express opinions on social media. Even so, he pointed out at the end of the letter that Abdul Karim can take legal action if he has felt threatened or received harassment in any way.

Many people questioned the whereabouts of Abdul Karim's large sum of money to complete the purchase. Head of the Ulaanbaatar City Property Relations Agency Sh.Tumurbaatar said that Karim was going to receive support from internationally recognized funding sources. Sh.Tumurbaatar said it was unlikely that Karim would use illegal funds for a purchase made through an open auction.

Abdul Karim paid a 710 million MNT deposit in advance before participating in the auction. This amount will not be returned pursuant to auction rules, as he has cancelled his purchase. Abdul Karim's 710 million MNT will be transferred to a state account.

The next highest bidder in the auction, Director of Tavan Bogd Group Ts.Baatarsaikhan, will now be able to purchase the printing factory. Director Ts.Baatarsaikhan offered 23.85 billion MNT at the auction. In the case that he refuses the offer, another auction will be held for the Ulaanbaatar Times printing factory within 14 days.

Link to article

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Ulaanbaatar

U.S. Embassy Launching Air Quality Monitoring Program on Wednesday

December 14 (U.S. Embassy) On December 16, 2015, the U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar will formally launch an "Air Quality Monitoring Program" (AQMP). The Embassy's AQMP will include a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-certified measuring instrument (a MET One BAM 1020), a real-time air quality index website, and a Twitter feed. The AQMP will continuously monitor and record the level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the air outside the Embassy and continuously convert the data collected onto the EPA-created "Air Quality Index" (AQI) scale. This information is open to the public and is intended to benefit Ulaanbaatar residents, including American citizens living and working in Ulaanbaatar, the local health community, and the Government of Mongolia.

We invite members of the media to explore the U.S. Embassy's AQI website at www.stateair.mn and its Twitter feed at twitter.com/USEmbUBAir. Since AQMP will be part of the U.S. EPA's "AirNow" system, the air quality data generated on the U.S. Embassy neighborhood in Ulaanbaatar by the program is simultaneously published on www.airnow.gov. Note that the Embassy reports its AQI as an hourly average and the EPA reports AQI as a 24-hour average.

BACKGROUND: Air pollution is a critical global health threat. In February 2015, the U.S. Department of State and the EPA formed a partnership with the goal of improving real-time air quality data from around the world by adding data from participating U.S. embassies to the EPA data already published on air quality conditions in the United States.

PLANNING NOTE: The Embassy will not host a media event on December 16, the day of the AQMP launch. An Embassy press tour will be planned in January to show the monitor and discuss air quality. We refer press-related inquiries to the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section at (976) 7007-6249 or paspress@usembassy.mn.

Link to release

 

New Year Tree Lighting Ceremony to Be Held at 6:20 PM Tuesday

December 14 (gogo.mn) In scope of upcoming New Year celebration, lighting ceremony of tree installed in Chinggis Square to be held at 06:20pm tomorrow.

On December 31st, residents gather at Chinggis Square to participate in annual New Years Eve celebrations.

Moreover districts to organize New Year celebrations and concerts in their area for public, reported by the Press and Public Relations Department of City Governor Office.

Link to article

Related:

Christmas tree at main square ready to light upMontsame, December 14

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Diplomacy

Mining Minister Talks Uranium Extraction with French Ambassador

December 14 (news.mn) On 10th December, Mongolian Mining Minister, R.Jigjid, held an official meeting with the Ambassador of France, Elizabeth Barsak. During the meeting, Ambasaador Barsak noted the official visit of President Ts.Elbegdorj to France and the seven documents, which were signed during the visit. She also mentioned Mongolian-French relations and developing co-operation in the political, cultural, and economic spheres.

Particular mention was made of the representatives of "Areva Mongolia", a company which has introduced important projects in the field of radioactive resources.

Minister R.Jigjid in discussing co-operation between Mongolia and France said that Mongolia is giving important priority to the radioactive materials projects. Also, the two sides want to sign a framework document regaring radioactive material co-operation; this is required in order to solve pressing issues. The meeting ended positively and with mutually understanding on the issues discussed.

Link to article

 

New Mongolian Ambassador Received by Prime Minister of Laos

Ulaanbaatar, December 14 (MONTSAME) The newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Lao People's Democratic Republic Mr L.Galbadrakh has paid a courtesy call on Mr Thongsing Thammavong, the Prime Minister of Laos.

The news was published on Monday on the website of the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Galbadrakh expressed his satisfaction with being appointed as the Ambassador to Laos to contribute to the bilateral traditional and friendly relations and cooperation, and then conveyed to Mr Thongsing Thammavong greetings of the Mongolian Premier.

The Lao Premier Mr Thongsing Thammavong said he is satisfied with mutual trust of the bilateral relations and cooperation despite many changes in the world's political and economic situations. He emphasized Lao people are thankful to Mongolia for the establishment of a medical hospital and sheep breeding house in Xiangkhouang province, which are still in operations, and put forward a proposal to seek a chance for augmenting the breeding house's productivity in order broaden the economic ties in economic sphere. Mr Thongsing Thammavong also expressed willingness to study experience of Mongolia in the mining sector.

Thanking the Lao Premier for giving directions and recommendations on the bilateral ties, Mr Galbadrakh noted the countries are possible to resolve the transportation matter because of a distance between the countries, and he will make big efforts to widen effectiveness of the economic cooperation and to study a chance for augmenting the trade turnover.

The Ambassador expressed hope that Laos will take part with a high-level delegation in the 11th ASEM Summit to be held next year in Ulaanbaatar.

Mr Thongsing Thammavong accepted the invitation, confirming that his country will participate in the ASEM Summit as a member of the organization.

Link to article

 

Mongolia Hosts Ceremony Marking 55th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba

December 14 (gogo.mn) Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, L.Purevsuren and Ambassador of Cuba to Mongolia Omar Marrero Betancourt hosted the ceremony upon the establishment of the 55th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the Republic of Cuba at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, L.Purevsuren noted his pleasure that traditional and friendly relations between Mongolia and Cuba have been expanded and developed in the fields of politics, education, culture, sports and health, along with the mutual support in the international arena. Cuba was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with Mongolia among the American continent, thus the Minister expressed the gratitude to Cuba for acting as our main bridge to the Latin American and Caribbean countries for over half a century. He also illustrated the readiness to share Mongolia's experiences on economic reforms with Cuba.

Ambassador M.Omar stated that "During the 55 years we have been developing our relations on the basis of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, International Law aimed at peaceful solution of international conflicts in inalienable law of the people consisting in political, economic, social and cultural rights. It constitutes an essential condition for peaceful coexistence among nations". He conveyed the gratitude for successfully collaborating in other sectors, especially in the field of education, apart from the multilateral cooperation and specified to continuously offer Cuban scholarships to the young Mongolian students.

Link to article

Related:

Reception held for anniversary of Mongolia-Cuba diplomatic relationsMontsame, December 14

 

OSCE/ODIHR Director welcomes the abolition of the death penalty in Mongolia

WARSAW, 11 December 2015 (OSCE) – Today, Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), welcomed the complete abolition of the death penalty in Mongolia.

Following a parliamentary vote on 4 December, in favour of a new criminal code that abolishes capital punishment for all crimes, Mongolia has become the 105th country worldwide and the 52nd OSCE participating State to abolish the death penalty in law.

"The elimination of executions in Mongolia is a very positive development and an encouraging example of progress made toward the respect for human dignity and integrity in the OSCE region," said Director Link.  "Most of our region now recognizes the inherently cruel, inhuman and degrading nature of the death penalty."

By welcoming the increased number of abolitionist OSCE participating States, Link also called on those states in the OSCE region that still retain capital punishment in law or in practice to consider following Mongolia's example. Participating States have committed to keeping the question of abolishing capital punishment under consideration and exchanging information on its use.

In its annual publication The Death Penalty in the OSCE Area: Background Paper, ODIHR provides an update on the status of the death penalty across the region.

Link to release

Related:

Spain Congratulates Mongolia on Abolishing the Death PenaltyMinistry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, December 10

 

UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination publishes findings on Holy See, Lithuania, Egypt, Slovenia, Mongolia and Turkey

GENEVA (11 December  2015) – The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has published its findings on the countries it examined during its latest session from 23 November to 11 December: Holy See, Lithuania, Egypt, Slovenia, Mongolia and Turkey.

The findings contain positive aspects of how the respective State is implementing the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), highlight main matters of concern and make recommendations. 

The reports, officially known as concluding observations, can be found here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=998&Lang=en

During the session, the Committee marked the 50th anniversary of ICERD, one of the oldest international human rights treaties.

CERD's next session will be from 25 April to 13 May, when members are due to  review Azerbaijan, Georgia, Namibia, Oman, Rwanda and Spain. More information here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=1072&Lang=en

The Committee is composed of 18 international independent experts. 

Link to release

 

Mongolian Japanologist to receive the Order of the Rising Sun

December 11 (infomongolia.com) Head of the Mongolian-Japanese Culture and Literature Center, Mr. D.Tumurbaatar is going to be awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette (4th class), at the Embassy of Japan in Ulaanbaatar on December 15, 2015 for his contribution to cultural relations between Mongolia and Japan.

Mr. Deleg TUMURBAATAR is a well-known Japanologist in Mongolia. He is known among Mongolian literature fans by his translation works such as "The Dancing Girl of Izu" by Yasunari Kawabata, "The Grave in a Daisy Flower Bed" by Sachio Ito, "The Last Shogun: The Life of Tokugawa Yoshinobu" by Ryotaro Shiba and his history novels of Meiji restoration period, "An Auto Bike Flying to the Sky" by Minoru Nasuda and "Bushido: The Soul of Japan" by Inazo Nitobe.

Link to article

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Health, Education

Hope in Hard Places: Mongolia

BY KRISTY J. O'HARA WITH REPORTING BY TOGTOKHBAYAR DORJPALAM AND ENKHZUL ALTANGEREL

November 30 (World Vision) Ariunaa treasures her sewing machine above anything else.

For the 44-year-old mother of four, living in rural Mongolia challenged her ability to provide for her family. She once lived as a herder, but as the cost of education soared, it forced her to sell her livestock and move in toward the town center. 

With few vocational skills, she found herself jobless, but she knew how to sew. She began making clothes at home and selling her creations to friends and neighbors. Her reputation grew. 

World Vision took notice of Ariunaa and gave her the prized electric sewing machine. 

"The sewing machine made everything easier," she says. "It's very fast, so I can make a lot more clothes. It took me a week to make one deel (traditional dress) before, but now I can finish one in two days."

World Vision also helped her open a small shop, so now she has even more customers. Her revenue has increased, and she can now provide for her family.

"Now I have a stable source of income, so I can afford my kids' educational needs," she says. 

The lack of economic opportunities is just one issue facing people in Mongolia. Join us this month in praying for the people of Mongolia. 

Suggested prayer points

Link to article

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Society

Savings and Economic Growth

By Jargal "Defacto" Dambadarjaa

December 14 (gogo.mn) In terms of structure, it is viewed that consumption, government spending, investment, and net exports make up the economy. It is also called Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GDP per capita indicates the economic capability of a country. Economic growth is estimated by comparing GDP per capita to the previous year.

Economic growth is an important indicator because it shows whether the labour productivity of a country has improved or not. Another essential factor that greatly influences not only GDP components but also development trend is accumulation.

Accumulation is mostly referred to foreign-exchange reserves at the national level, wealth owned by people and their savings at an individual level, and accumulated earnings and profits and assets for businesses.

In countries such as Mongolia, which is dependent on mining industry, a sovereign wealth fund is also taken into account when talking about accumulation. This fund is designated to put mining revenue in an account abroad when the price of a given commodity is booming, and bring the revenue back into economy when the market slumps. It allows managing the effects of price fluctuations on the international market.

However, we do not have such a fund in our country. What we have is politicians promising to set up a sovereign wealth fund before every election.

DO MONGOLIANS HAVE SAVINGS?

We need to be discussing accumulation at a national level today. Having been shaken by consecutive crises and declines, our economy resembles a roller coaster ride at the children's amusement park.

Accumulation is a major mechanism that softens the blow from an economic decline and supports economic growth. There have recently been discussions about accumulation in Mongolia.

Even though the recent discussions are revolving only around the banking sector, it is good to see that people are increasingly realising the importance of saving money and that young families are striving for accumulation.

For instance, Golomt Bank initiated the National Savings Program and signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Mongolbank a month ago. Mongolia currently has approximately 820,000 households. It has been estimated that, despite everyone having a bank account, 90 percent of households do not have any savings.

It is also calculated that, if one third of the households that do not have any savings start putting 50,000 MNT aside from their income every month, they will have 13 million MNT after ten years. It would increase the savings and accumulation at national level by 3.3 billion MNT.

If the households manage to make it a habit, Golomt Bank will be encouraging them every year by providing a 20 percent bonus of their savings. In that case, what is stopping everyone from taking part in this program and getting the bonus every year?

Firstly, income levels are at many different levels, and the gap continues to widen. One fifth of our population is categorised as poor, meaning that their monthly income is not enough to meet basic needs such as food.

Twenty years ago, one third of the total population was poor. Half of the population is currently made up by middle class, whose income is enough to meet every day needs and still be able to save some of their income.

Secondly, it is difficult to embed the habit of saving money into the Mongolian mindset. People are more likely to prefer increasing their wealth using their livestock, rather than money, because we have been nomads who herd livestock for hundreds of years.

It has been a long time since the government stopped thinking about generating accumulation. Having obtained foreign loans without thinking ahead on how to use the loans or repay them, the government now only thinks about repaying debts by borrowing more.

As a result of implementing the long-term housing mortgages, people with average income started turning their expenditure into savings. It is a good step. However, the interest rate of this loan is half the market rates, which means it cannot be sustained in the long term.

Businesses are weaker in competitiveness and are not able to enter the international market and expand. It makes it impossible for them to expand their operations using their own capital, leaving them with the only option of borrowing.

The interest rates of banks in Mongolia incur higher costs whilst the capital market is not maturely developed. It is the reason businesses are paying almost 20 percent of their revenue in interest payments. The pressure exerted on businesses is enormous.

HOW DO WE HAVE ACCUMULATION?

The income levels are reported to be dependent on economic growth. The theory of marginal propensity to save suggests that savings increase as income grows. Most countries in the world have legislations that encourage people to have investments and savings.

Similarly, Mongolia has not been imposing taxes for many years on the income that comes from saving rates. The parliament is currently discussing whether this should continue for another two years.

Another incentive to increase accumulation and develop the capital market is allowing the companies registered on the stock exchange to have their dividends untaxed.

In order to have accumulation and savings at a national level, all resources must be fully utilised.

Mongolia's health and social care funds, especially the pension fund, must be kept separate from the government or a monopoly of a ministry. Also, the funds need to be managed by experts.

The pension fund should always be ahead of inflation rates. The government now needs to establish a dedicated fund to repay foreign loans on time.

The private sector needs to strive for gaining international competitiveness, applying international standards in processes, and implementing new technologies of information and communications before our neighboring countries do.

It is time for everyone in Mongolia, including the government, the private sector, and the people to focus on accumulation and savings, and effectively manage our financial resources.

The total capital of banks should be as big as the GDP, and savings in banks should equal half of GDP in contrast to the 25 percent it is today. Only then, accumulation and savings can become a major driver of the economy.

Today, 92 percent of savings are owned by 17 percent of population. These savings should be owned by a far greater percentage of the population, which would become a reliable pillar for economic growth.

The history of the developed world proves that flourishing development can only come when everyone, including individuals and businesses, work hard, create value, save for years, and effectively manage capital.

Link to article

 

Mogi: suspects were caught

VIDEO: 360 million robbed from TDB branch on Sunday

December 14 (gogo.mn) We deliver you the video of bank robbery took place at Tavan Shar branch of Trade Development Bank (TDB) at BSB supermarket, Songinohairhan district at around 9am yesterday. Police Department took an immediate action and arrested the suspects within 24 hours. Except the recordings of surveillance camera, this video has included suspected brothers and cash.

Video source: General Police Authority

Link to article

 

TDB employee says gunned robbers opened fire into ceiling

December 14 (gogo.mn) Bank robbery took place at Trade Development Bank (TDB) at BSB supermarket, Songinohairhan district at 9am yesterday. The robbery was committed by two armed suspects, reported by the officials. They entered to the bank through its back door where no surveillance cameras were installed. 

As the crime was committed during the weekend, bank opening hours were at 11 am. Bank employee said that gunmen opened fire into the ceiling of the bank. Fortunately, no injury and material damage were reported.

Marketing Department of TDB to hold press conference today. TDB branch where the robbery occurred is to operate normal working hours today.

Link to article

 

Two brothers suspected of bank robbery arrested

December 14 (gogo.mn) Bank robbery took place at Tavan Shar branch of Trade Development Bank (TDB) at BSB supermarket, Songinohairhan district at around 9am yesterday. The robbery was committed by two armed suspects and they robbed MNT 360 million.

Police Department took an immediate action and arrested the suspects within 24 hours. Suspects were arrested at around 9am today and Police Department of Songinohairhan district started investigation.

Additional information was refused to be provided as the case is under investigation. The suspects B and E were born in 1985 and 1992  and criminal proceedings have been initiated.

Link to article

Related:

Two men arrested in connection with bank robberyMontsame, December 14

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Sports

Peniaphobia Wins Hong Kong Sprint; Mongolian Saturday Fifth

December 13 (Paulick Report) Peniaphobia dashed straight to the lead from the outside No. 14 post position and was never headed in Sunday's Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint, upsetting a fast-closing favorite, Gold-Fun, in the 1,200-meter (6 furlong) turf fixture. Not Listenin'tome was third, with Dundonnell giving the home team in Hong Kong a sweep of the top four positions.

Time of the race, the second of four Group 1 races sponsored by Longines at Sha Tin Race Course in Hong Kong, was 1:08.74.

Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Mongolian Saturday finished fifth, appearing not to handle the turns on the right-handed course as well as the local runners. Wesley Ward-trained Green Mask, third to Mongolian Saturday in the Breeders' Cup, finished eighth. They were the only two American-trained runners competing in Hong Kong in this year's international race program.

"He ran good," Mongolian Saturday's jockey Florent Geroux, said. "Great trip, was forwardly placed, let the speed go. He was relaxed but maybe a little too relaxed. He was a little surprised and never really took the bit. He didn't know what to do. He was focused better early in the race but from the quarter-pole to the end, he was a little confused. The experience of this kind of trip will help him."

Green Mask's jockey, Joel Rosario, reported: "He ran nice and handled the bend fine. Maybe he was a little closer than he is used to. Anyway, he kept trying to the end."

Peniaphobia (said to mean fear of poverty) was ridden by the Hong Kong Jockey Club's leading jockey Joao Moreira for trainer Tony Cruz. The Irish-bred son of Dandy Man set fractions of :23.91 and :45.94 en route to the victory. Peniaphobia finished second in this race last year.

Official results

See the race replay here:

Link to article

 

All 10 Mongolian wrestlers claim medals at Sambo Asian Championship

Ulaanbaatar, December 14 (MONTSAME) A wrestling team of Mongolia successfully competed in the Sambo Wrestling Asian Championship held December 11-13 in Kazakhstan.

All of the wrestlers have grabbed medals in the Asian Championship which ran in the senior, youth and junior divisions.

B.Khorloodoi IMS won a gold medal in the women's 52 kg contest, and three wrestlers B.Badmaa (48 kg), P.Altanbagana (57 kg) and B.Sambuunyam grabbed gold medals in the youths' category.

Silver medals went to O.Enkhchimeg (girls' +75 kg), G.Monkhbat (men's 57 kg), E.Erdenesukh (men's 57 kg in combat sambo), and bronze medals to--L.Onobold (boys' 52 kg), Ch.Myagmarjav (men's 48 kg in youth) and E.Gantogtokh (men's 52 kg in youth).

Link to article

 

First Pan-Mongol Boxing Tournament Being Held in Ulaanbaatar

December 14 (news.mn) The first "Mongolian Nations" boxing competition is being held at the initiative of the "World Mongolians' Global Society" and with the support of the "Mongolian Box Federation". The event is taking place at the Ulaanbaatar "Wrestling Palace". The best 18-40 year-old boxers from Inner Mongolia, Buryatia, Kalmykia, Tuva and Mongolia are contesting in the 49kg, 52kg, 56kg, 64kg, and 69kg categories.

The prize budget for the competition is higher that in the other box competitions held between the Asian countries. For example, every rank has a champion's cup, and the winner of the "Grand Prix" prize will receive a 750 carate gold cup; the winners of the various ranks will be receive between USD 1500-5000 each.

Link to article

 

Mongolian High Speed Morse Championship Held

The Mongolian High Speed Telegraphy (HST) Championship, which took place November 20-22 in Ulaanbaatar, attracted 34 competitors, 14 male and 20 female  

There were 6 members of the International jury.

Following an invitation from the Mongolian Radio Sport Federation (MRSF), the first IARU Region 1 representative to visit Mongolia, Oliver Tabakovski, Z32TOchaired the International jury. Results made were satisfactory, furthermore some achievements were good enough even for the international competition.

For the very first time, MRSF organized fully computerized HST championship using the latest HST software for competition as well as for administrative part of the championship (logging, results, certificates etc).

Following the excitement from the successful organization and good results, MRSF will likely rejoin HST competition on international level.

The primary aim was accomplished and the whole event was a great success for everyone !

IARU Region 1 http://iaru-r1.org/

Mongolian Radio Sport Federation (MRSF) http://www.mrsf.mn/

Link to article

 

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Art, Entertainment

Children's Group Wins First Season of Mongolia's Got Talent

December 14 (gogo.mn) Mongol HD television successfully organised the "Mongolia's Got Talent" show for the first time with the official right.

On Dec 14, "Egshiglent Chimee" (Melodious Sound) children group which plays music using spoons, stone, tree, plumbing pipes and glass became the winner by the number of votes and awarded with MNT 100.000.000.

Following is the best 8 contestant:

·         8th place: O.Bayarsaikhan, singer, click HERE for final performance

·         7th place: A.Uranbileg, contortionist, click HERE for final performance

·         6th place: "Yanzagan Huree" dance group, click HERE for final performance

·         5th place: E.Narangarav, contortionist, click HERE for final performance

·         4th place: B.Temuulen, M.Haliun, click HERE for final performance

·         3rd place: A.Otgonbayar, click HERE for final performance

·         2nd place: B.Myagmartseren, H.Barhuu, click HERE for final performance

Therefore, "2015 Mongolia`s Got Talent" show which united TV viewer of all age in front of TV screen for last two months have finished.

Mongol HD announced to organise the show in next year. We must mention that Mongol HD television organised the intenationally acknowledged talent show at high level and in accordance with the standard.

Link to article

Related:

"Melodious sound" children's group wins Mongolia's Got TalentMontsame, December 14

 

Morin Khuur artist to perform in Japan with local pianist

December 11 (infomongolia.com) Mongolian Morin Khuur (horse-head fiddle) player A.Delgermaa will perform on the Japanese stage with famous Japanese pianist Kazuoki Fujii on December 20, 2015.

She is a member of the State Morin Khuur Ensemble and the joint concert intends to promote Mongolian culture in Japan.

Ms. A.Delgermaa and Mr. Kazuoki Fujii will perform works of Mongolian well-known composers S.Gonchigsumlaa, B.Damdinsuren, G.Jamiyan, N.Jantsannorov and B.Sharav.

Morin Khuur

Morin Khuur (horse head fiddle) is a traditional Mongolian bowed string instrument. It is one of the most important musical instruments of the Mongol people, and is considered a symbol of the Mongolian nation. Morin Khuur is one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity identified by UNESCO. It produces a sound which is poetically described as expansive and unrestrained, like a wild horse neighing, or like a breeze in the grasslands.

Link to article

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Travel

The Dukha: Last of Mongolia's Reindeer People

Story highlights

·         The Dukha is one of the few remaining nomadic reindeer tribes in the world and the only one in Mongolia

·         The minority group faces difficulties in maintaining its culture and identity

·         A group of Dukhas migrate to the south in the summer to earn a living from tourists

·         Expert says it's a culture going extinct

December 15 (CNN) For thousands of years, the Dukha people, also known as the Tsaatans, have lived in the remote, deep forest of northern Mongolia.

Moving from pasture to pasture every seven to 10 weeks, this tiny community of nomadic reindeer herders is one of the few remaining tribes of its kind.

Natives of Russian Siberia and Mongolia's northernmost province of Khovsgol, Dukha herders depend on their reindeer for nearly all aspects of survival, as well as cultural and spiritual identity.

But as modern development makes its way into their remote habitat, their ancient traditions are now at risk of dying out.

MORE: 18 reasons to love Mongolia

"They're certainly a dying culture," says Harvard-trained anthropologist Hamid Sardar-Afkhami.

Sardar, who spent years living with the Dukha and documenting their way of life, believes there were once around 200 families living in this remote part of Mongolia.

Nowadays, he thinks there are probably only 40 families left with about 1,000 reindeer.

"The number of families has fallen because a lot of them have been synthesized with the mainstream community," he says. "Many of them have moved to the towns and even to the capital cities."

The biggest threat in Sardar-Afkhami's view is the defection from the younger Dukha generation, who don't want to live in the harsh conditions in the taiga (or "snow forest").

"They want to go down and stay in warm cabins in the winter, maybe buy a car and drive," he says.

"There's a big appeal to the modern life. The hardships of the traditional life as a reindeer herder certainly play a factor."

The rise of gold mining in the area, as well as the government's move to restrict the Tsaatan's hunting ground, has also hastened the decline.

"The government declared the Tsaatans' hunting ground a part of the national protected parks. It's now off-limits so they can't hunt anymore," he says.

As compensate, according to Sardar-Afkhami, each family was paid about $150.

"It's a bit sad because these are traditional hunters and the reindeer need to move.

"When you pay them off like that, you're destroying a part of their culture."

To further add to the Dukhas' woes, the number of the reindeer they're so dependent on has dwindled dramatically due to diseases and lack of available treatment.

Surviving through tourism

All of these factors have forced some of the Dukha to rely on money from tourism to survive.

"Tourism's a big source of income nowadays," says Sardar-Afkhami. "They're making considerable money off tourists."

For some years now, travel companies have been regularly offering options to visit a Dukha community as part of a Mongolian itinerary.

But getting to their remote habitat requires advanced horse-riding skills, as well as days traveling on a bumpy road by car that many visitors aren't prepared or equipped to undertake.

This has prompted a small group of reindeer herders to come down from their traditional area to set up camp near the popular Lake Khovsgol tourist areas.

Led by Enkhatuya, who is also the head shaman, a clan of about a dozen relatives offer tourists a glimpse of the Dukha lifestyle without having to travel deep into the larch forest.

Enkhatuya admits that life has been getting tougher for her people.

"This is the main reason we come down to Lake Khovsgol every summer," she explains. "We need to earn enough money so that we can survive the winter."

Controversy

The reindeer, in particular, have proved to be a big hit among visitors who happily pay 5,000 Mongolian Tugrik ($2.50) for a one-off photo opportunity.

Judging by the number of buses coming and going, the clan might easily make about $200 a day on average.

This is a lot of money by Mongolian standards, where the average worker earns an estimated $330 a month.

But their efforts have also attracted scrutiny from some travelers concerned about the reindeer being used to lure tourists.

So much so that some travel companies, such as Melbourne, Australia-based Intrepid Travel, now discourage visiting the tribe.

"Many travelers are of the opinion that this area isn't the best environment for the reindeer as they're native to much colder climates and are brought to Lake Khovsgol so the herders can benefit from tourism," says Timur Yadamsuren, local guide and country manager for Intrepid Travel in Mongolia.

"For these reasons Intrepid Travel doesn't recommend this activity."

Enkhatuya dismisses the accusations and says, "As a culture we've deep connections with our reindeer. They're like our family."

"We would never abuse them as such. I can assure you they aren't suffering."

Despite their decreasing population, she believes Dukha culture will continue to flourish.

"Our young people are returning to continue our ancestral tradition," she says. "They're as close to the tribe and culture as they ever were. They're continuing to speak our native language."

In fact, Enkhatuya's granddaughter has followed in her footsteps and become a shaman herself.

Even so, Sardar-Afkhami believes their ancient way of life is on the path to extinction.

"They're the last of their kind," says Sardar.

"Even if they survive, if they leave the reindeer herding culture that distinguishes them, their culture will die."

Link to article

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    6. Duration of the Loan--------
    7. Monthly Income:----------------
    8. Direct Telephone Number:-----------
    Have you applied for loan online before (yes or no)

    EMAIL: {urgentloan22@gmail.com}
    Best Regards.

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  2. My name is.Mrs.Juliet Quin. I live in Canada and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of $ 73,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of $ 73,000.00 Canada Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs.Juliet Quin that refer you to him. Contact Dr Purva Pius via email: reply to email {urgentloan22@gmail.com}

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