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Monday, June 20, 2016
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New giant ger being built for ASEM
June 17 (news.mn) Although round, the Mongolian traditional dwelling, the ger (yurt) is said to be made up of "walls". A single "wall" – in Mongolian "Hana" – is a vertical wooden lattice section which forms part of the skeleton of the ger and on which the felt covering is fixed. A standard-sized family ger consists of five "hana".
Now a giant 28 "hana" ger is being constructed. The location is the "Chinngis Khaanii Khuree" tourist complex which is located near Ulaanbaatar. For 24 years, the complex has been the venue for important events such as welcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping or His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. As ASEM approaches, the "Chinggis Khaanii Khuree" complex is working flat out to prepare for receiving a large numbers of guests. It is anticipated that 2500 ASEM guests will be received at the tourist complex over the 15th-16th July.
The complex has about 100 gers of various sizes. Currently, an additional 22 new are being set up each with four and five "hana".
At the center of the complex, is situated the giant Great Palace Ger which has 32 "hana" and a diameter of 25 meters. This imposing structure is the largest ger in the world. Inside of the Great Palace Ger, which was set up in 2007, is a two floor restaurant built in the Mongolian design. In the place of honor in the Great Palace, is a gilded portrait of Chinggis Khaan and a white silver falcon.
Next to the Great Palace Ger a new one is being erected; this is the second largest in the world. This new ger has a diameter of 24 meters and 28 "hana". According to the master plan, the new ger will be surrounded by seven smaller ones, giving it the appearance of a giant flower.
ASEM Summit steering council meets
Ulaanbaatar, June 17 (MONTSAME) The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)'s 11th Summit is to be held in Ulaanbaatar in July. Over 5,000 guests, including 15 presidents, 21 premiers and foreign ministers, are expected to partake.
The National Steering Council, led by PM Ch.Saikhanbileg met on Friday for the 30th time.
At this meeting, the Prime Minister assigned the council to forward the landscaping of surrounding area of intended Ger Town, to be located in the midst of Shangri La Hotel and the National Amusement Park and preparations at Chingisiin Khuree Complex, where a Nomadic Naadam Festival will take place.
XAM last traded A$0.22 on Wednesday before trading halt.
Xanadu Mines: Successful A$12.2 Million Private Placement
• Xanadu completes placement to raise A$12.2 million at a placement price of 20 cents per share;
• Strong support from existing institutional and sophisticated investors, including the introduction of well‐regarded institutional investors to the register;
• Major shareholders participate in placement, continuing their support of the Company; and
• Xanadu funded to continue exploration at its flagship Kharmagtai copper-gold project and new gold discovery at Oyut Ulaan.
June 20 -- Xanadu Mines Ltd (ASX: XAM – "Xanadu" or "Company") is pleased to announce that it has received irrevocable commitments to subscribe for 60.83 million ordinary fully paid shares in the Company at A$0.20 per share to raise A$12.17 million (Placement). The Placement shares will be issued pursuant to Xanadu's 15% placement capacity in accordance with ASX Listing Rule 7.1.
Xanadu's Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Stewart, said: "We are delighted with the strong demand for the Placement from our existing sophisticated and institutional shareholders; and are very pleased to welcome a number of well‐regarded institutional investors to the register. Xanadu is in a privileged position with a growing JORC-compliant gold-rich copper resource and new bonanza gold grades. The yield from our counter-cyclic approach highlights that now is the time to be leveraged to exploration upside and our discoveries are ready for the next boom."
The funds raised from this Placement, together with existing cash reserves, will allow the Company to continue the momentum at the Kharmagtai copper-gold project and the new gold discovery at the Oyut Ulaan project.
In addition, following the success of this capital raise and considering the Company's healthy cash position, Xanadu has agreed with Noble Resources International Pte. Ltd that the remaining US$1.5 million available under the Finance Facility (first announced on 3 February 2014 as part of the Kharmagtai acquisition arrangement) will not be drawn. The balance of US$2.7 million remains due in July 2017.
Bell Potter Securities Limited acted as Lead Manager to the Placement.
New shares subscribed under the Placement are expected to settle on Thursday, 23 June 2016 and commence trading on Friday, 24 June 2016.
TRQ closed +0.91% Friday to US$3.31, +14.9% last week
Turquoise Hill Leads Mining Stock Gains on Push for Gobi Riches
· Turquoise Hill soars this week amid Rio Tinto stake rumors
· 'A lot of people' have interest, miner's CEO says in interview
June 17 (Bloomberg) The best bet among Americas mining stocks this week is the owner of a giant copper deposit in the Gobi Desert, a sign the industry is entering a new phase after years of cutbacks.
"It's getting harder and harder to find large deposits with higher grades," Chief Executive Officer Jeff Tygesen said in an interview to appear on Bloomberg TV Canada Friday, declining to comment directly on the buyback proposal. "A lot of smelters would like and want Oyu Tolgoi concentrate because it's high grade and very clean."
There's no need for Rio Tinto to rush into upping its Oyu Tolgoi exposure - The Australian, June 14
SouthGobi Misses Deferred Obligation Payments to China's CIC
June 17 (Bloomberg) Mongolian coal miner SouthGobi Resources Ltd. said it hasn't repaid a deferred interest obligation and is again renegotiating a repayment plan with sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp.
MSE Weekly Report: Top 20 -0.35%, ALL -0.42%, Turnover ₮40.3 Million Shares
June 17 (MSE) --
FRC Registers 9.9 Million New Baganuur Shares, Total Outstanding 30.8 Million
June 17 (MSE) According to the Resolution No.: 233 of Financial Regulatory Commission dated on 15 June 2016, Mongolian Stock Exchange registered "Baganuur" JSC's additional 9,870,287 shares with nominal price of MNT100.00 and made amendment to its listing, resulted total of 30,844,647 with nominal price of MNT100.00.
Historic low ₮2,050.85/USD set March 28, 2016. Reds are rates that set a new low at the time
BoM MNT Rates: Friday, June 16 Close
MNT vs USD (blue), CNY (red) in last 1 year:
BoM issues ₮97.4 billion 1-week bills at 10.5%, total outstanding +33.9% to ₮221.15 billion
June 17 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 97.4 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
Subsidized Mortgage Report: ₮120 Billion Issued at 5%, ₮324.9 Billion at 8%, ₮45.7 Billion Transferred to 5%
June 17 (Bank of Mongolia) As of June 16 banks received ₮526.8 billion (₮425.7 billion as of May 25) mortgage requests of 8,568 citizens (6,889 as of May 25), of which ₮120 billion (₮96.8 billion as May 25) of 2,535 citizens (2,026 as of May 25) have been approved at 5%, ₮324.9 billion (₮268.5 billion as of May 25) of 4,833 citizens (3,975 of May 13) at 8%.
Also, ₮45.7 billion mortgages (₮32.9 billion as of May 25) of 1,116 borrowers (813 as of May 25) who bought housing in Ulaanbaatar ger area redevelopment zones, satellite districts Baganuur, Bagakhangai, and Nalaikh, new capital housing zones, and 21 aimags have been transferred to 5%.
Link to release (in Mongolian)
'Good Herder' 10% Loan Program: ₮141.2 Billion Requested, ₮130.6 Billion Issued
June 17 (Cover Mongolia) Since the Government of Mongolia launched the "Good Herder" Program in March 15, 2016 the State Bank and Khan Bank has received requests from 36,396 herders for ₮141.2 billion loans at 10% as of May 25, 2016 (28,245 herders for ₮109.8 billion as May 25) and ₮130.6 billion loans issued to 33,958 herders (₮101 billion to 26,215 herders as of May 25) have been issued.
Link to BoM update (in Mongolian)
Central bank leadership seminar taking place in UB
June 17 (UB Post) From June 12 to 17, Mongol Bank is organizing the international South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Centre Intermediate Leadership Course on Integrative Leadership in Central Banking in Ulaanbaatar.
Strengthening the Labor Market in Mongolia: Skills for Employment Project
ADB Brief, May 2016
Mongolia's economy has grown rapidly, resulting in significant changes to the employment structure and demand for skills.
• The Government of Mongolia has been advancing technical and vocational education and training (TVET) as a measure for employment promotion.
• Major lessons that emerged from projects supported by development partners include (i) potential gains in efficiency and effectiveness could be achieved only if the development of training modules and materials, upgrading of equipment and facilities, and training for TVET teachers were better aligned with standards set in collaboration with employers, and industry and professional associations; and (ii) sustainable reforms of the TVET system require active public communication and consultations.
• The Skills for Employment Project for the Government of Mongolia will support the reform of the TVET system in Mongolia through (i) the development of an industry-driven TVET system, (ii) upgrading of selected TVET providers to implement competency-based training and assessment, (iii) the establishment of training systems for TVET teachers and managers, and (iv) support for secondary education career guidance and schools specializing in technology (basic engineering).
Foreign investors "scared off" by Mongolian economic crisis
Mongolia was the world's fastest-growing economy in 2013. Foreign businesses have since fled the country in droves, and foreign direct investment has plummeted. What's behind Mongolia's swift change in fortune?
Ulan Bator, Mongolia, June 19 (dpa) - Inside a cramped traditional tent dwelling called a ger, a formerly nomadic family sleeps and cooks around a coal stove in the polluted provincial capital of Bayankhongor.
They have relied on the eldest son's military income since 2000, when a summer drought followed by a harsh winter in the central plains of Mongolia wiped out their herd of goats.
"We didn't know how to live. We turned to ninja mining but did not find any gold," said the mother Ariunaa Zinameder, 54, referring to the practice of digging small, unauthorized mines for gold.
Since then, the family of eight has subsisted on 36 dollars worth of food stamps a month. They are part of Mongolia's increasing number of impoverished, who have not benefited from the country's resource wealth amid a steep drop in global commodity prices, stalled mining projects and domestic political disputes.
Mongolia was the world's fastest-growing economy just a few years ago. Foreign direct investment fueled the boom, peaking at around 5 billion dollars in 2011, before dropping to nearly zero last year.
Unemployment in Mongolia reached nearly 12 per cent this year, compared to 5 per cent in 2012. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed last year to 2.3 per cent, the weakest pace since 2009. Analysts now forecast GDP to grow at just 0.8 per cent in 2016.
Marcel Venhofen, executive director of the German-Mongolian Business Association in Ulan Bator, said it is rare for foreign companies to maintain offices in Mongolia.
"Many have kept strong ties with local contacts, but the market here is too small and a lot of companies prefer to fly in and out to do business. [German chemical company] BASF pulled out of production here after the decline of the mining boom," Venhofen told dpa.
Following a two-year dispute with the government, international mining company Rio Tinto finally gave approval in May for a 5.3-billion-dollar expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia. But experts say that will do little to improve the overall economic situation.
Some see Mongolia's lackluster foreign trade as a failure in its "third neighbour policy" to improve relations with other countries to balance out the powerful influence of Russia and China.
As a country with a population of 3 million that depends on mineral resources, some Mongolians have an uneasy attitude toward interest from foreign investors.
"A lot of investors' thinking is that Mongolia is resource-rich and we have projects ready to hand out to foreign partners. But most of the projects are controlled by the private sector. This makes it harder [for the government] to encourage cooperation," said Sanjaasuren Oyun, a prominent politician and leader of the Civil Will Party.
"In order to expand our economy, we have to export, but unlike other resource-rich countries such as Canada and Australia, we lack a track record in the mining sector and have messed up with bad decision making," Oyun told dpa.
Part of the problem stems from the fact that Mongolia was focused on developing exploitation of coal deposits during the past few years. That backfired because of factors including climate change mitigation and China's lowered demand for coal, according to experts.
"Mongolia, like every other resource economy, might have prepared more diligently for the world commodity price downturn. Not only was the Mongolian government unprepared, it exacerbated it by policy decisions that scared foreign investment off," said Julian Dierkes, Mongolia expert at the University of British Columbia.
Dierkes cited a series of decisions before 2012 by the then-governing Mongolian People's Party to regulate foreign investment that was seen as inhospitable to investors.
Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg of the Mongolian Democratic Party came to power last year promising to revive the economy through foreign investment in the mining sector.
Saikhanbileg's party is expected to lose the parliamentary elections on June 29, since voters have seen no improvement in the economy. Relatively high rates of inflation over the last few years have combined with the decline of Mongolia's currency, the tugrik, leading to rising unemployment and poverty, Dierkes noted.
As for Mongolia's deposits of rare earths, it would take "five years or more to develop rare-earth extraction," according to Stefan Hanselmann, program director of the Integrated Mineral Resource Initiative.
The country currently extracts rare-earth minerals from four larger mines, which are used as components in the manufacture of high-tech products including aircraft engines, hybrid cars and telescope lenses.
"On a world scale, however, these deposits are not regarded as very significant ones," said Harald Elsner, economics geologist for Germany's Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources.
Mongolia govt to issue domestic bonds to buy back Erdenes TT shares
Ulaanbaatar, June 17 (MONTSAME) At its irregular meeting held Thursday, the cabinet discussed certain actions to be taken for realizing the "Good stock" campaign and then made pertinent decisions.
As of today, 650 thousand people have expressed their willingness to sell some parts of their 1,072 units of the Erdenes Tavantolgoi stocks (322 units or 30% of the sum) to the government out of a total of one million and 650 thousand citizens who are owning the stocks.
"Initially, the applied people will receive MNT 100 thousand in cash which equals to one third of the stocks to sell through their accounts within the next week," said Ts.Tuvaan, head of the Social Welfare and Service Department of City.
In order to finance the "Good stock" campaign, the Minister of Finance B.Bolor was tasked to issue governmental securities with up to 15-year term on the domestic market in several phases and to establish a relevant contract on funding the bond payments with revenues from the sales of state-owned "Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi" stocks and its dividends.
Remaining part of the TT stocks owned by the individuals will be sold to the Government through the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) in accordance with the cabinet decision.
After the cabinet meeting, the Finance Minister informed that the cabinet made some amendments to the "Good stock" campaign's rule.
"Some media said this program violates the laws, causing burdens over the government budget. It is completely groundless information. There will be no problems emerging in pension fund and current expenses due to the campaign," the Minister stressed.
Mongolia, Parliamentary Elections, 29 June 2016: Interim Report
June 17 (OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) --
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
• On 21 January, the parliament (State Ikh Khural) scheduled general elections for 29 June. These elections will be conducted under a majoritarian system, stemming from both the Constitutional Court ruling that invalidated the proportional part of the electoral system some two months before election day and the parliament's swift reaction to amend the electoral system.
• The Constitution provides for the fundamental rights and freedoms that underpin democratic elections. However, a number of OSCE/ODIHR EOM interlocutors note that the Law on Elections (LoE) adopted on 25 December 2015 and amended afterwards contains a number of shortcomings, gaps, conflicting provisions and ambiguities.
• In May, the parliament established 76 single-mandate constituencies and approved their boundaries. These constituencies are not always contiguous with administrative districts and there are profound population discrepancies among them.
• The four-tiered election administration, headed by the General Election Commission (GEC), has so far met key legal deadlines. The election administration bodies lack transparency and a formalized approach in their decision-making, and often do not publicize information of public interest in a timely manner.
• A total of 1,912,901 voters are registered for the 2016 elections. Some 150,000 Mongolians living abroad, as well as military, police and election officers, deployed outside their precinct of residence, will not be able to cast their votes.
• Parliamentary seats will be contested by a total of 498 candidates, including 69 independents. From 15 political entities whose candidates are registered, only the Democratic Party (DP) and the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) will contest all 76 single-mandate constituencies. While 26 per cent of registered candidates are women, there are 27 constituencies with no female candidates.
• The LoE establishes a detailed legal framework for the 17-day campaign period, starting from 11 June, including the substance of the campaign platforms. There are no reporting requirements on campaign finance until after the elections.
• The media sector is vivid, yet marked by political alignment. The media's ownership structure is not transparent and programmes paid for by political parties overshadowed editorial content prior to the campaign. The public broadcaster will allot up to seven hours of free airtime to candidates per day during the campaign. On 26 May, the OSCE/ODIHR EOM commenced its media monitoring.
• The LoE allows challenges to the decisions and actions of the lower election commissions to higher commissions, with GEC decisions appealable up to the Supreme Court. The complaints process at the GEC is not formalized. The number and nature of complaints is not made public.
• The LoE provides for citizen and international election observation. GEC has accredited two citizen observer groups who will predominantly focus on election day procedures. Two other organisations that applied for registration have not been accredited.
Interesting Constellations of Candidates
by Julian Dierkes
June 17 (Mongolia Focus) There are always some interesting individuals, opposing races, and categories of candidates to be found among a number of candidates as large as 498 in this election.
Bat-Erdene B (incumbent, MPP, Khentii, 40)
Sumiyabazar D (incumbent, MPP, Songinokhairkhan 73)
Sukhbat A (MPP, Tuv, 29)
Tuvshinbayar N (DP, Bayankhongor, 8), winner of a gold medal in Beijing and silver medal in London Olympics. Obviously he's running for the DP in Bayankhongor where "Jenko" Battulga is politically prominent, who is also chairman of the Judo Federation.
"Nara" Narantuya M (Independent, Bayangol 69)
Erdenetungalag G (DP, Selenge, 26)
Javkhlan S (Independent, Bayanzurkh 54)
There are a number of relatives of various relations in races, sometimes even facing each other.
Byambatsogt S (incumbent, MPP, Khovd, 35) and Batsogt D (DP, Khovd, 35) are married to sisters, making them "Schwippschwager" to each other (brother of your wife's sister, in German, is there an English term?)
Batsambuu Sh (MPP, Zavkhan, 18) and Saikhansambuu Sh (Independent & Great Coalition, Zavkhan, 18) are brothers running against each other.
Arvin D (DP, Bayanzurkh, 54) and Anujin P (MPP, Bayanzurkh, 54) are not blood relatives but related by marriages. Anujin is famous for her TV show "Mongol tulgatan 100 erhem" (100 Respected People of Mongolia). Arvin was a member of parliament for the MPP before switching to the DP after the 2012 election.
UBC's geology grad student Enkhgerel G pointed out a number of these candidates to me.
Julian Dierkes: Small, Unanticipated Impacts
[With some notes from CIRDI program manager, Marie-Luise Ermisch, PhD]
June 16 (Mongolia Focus) One of the challenges on attempting to apply my understanding of contemporary Mongolia through development interventions has been that it is forcing me to learn a number of bureaucratic and methodological tools that I am not familiar with.
I have come to specialize in analyses of contemporary Mongolia over the past 10 years or so. As I focus on contemporary politics as one of the elements of my analyses, there have been many moments where I've thought that I know how particular challenges might be overcome. Development interventions are clearly motivated by a similar sense of a recognition of an obstacle to development or identification of a potential catalyst. What is different in the context of our CIRDI activities, however, is that I am now attempting to demonstrate that these interventions make a meaningful difference, beyond instinctively knowing that this is a productive intervention. I am thus moving from "I know what needs to be done" to "Let me try to do something and think about what that activity is achieving and how".
As we organized the first workshop under our collaboration with the International Cooperation Fund of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on "The State's Role in Large Resource Projects" we have been thinking hard about standard and more creative ways to measure the impact that such an activity is having. These measures go from reporting on attendance, media coverage and comments from participants, to evaluation surveys and follow-up with foreign delegates. Below I'm listing some of the small pieces of evidence that are harder to collect in a systematic fashion, but that do speak to the impact of an activity.
Impact on our Project Team
· Quasi-kick off event for CIRDI with key stakeholders. If people had vaguely heard of CIRDI and our Mongolia activities before, the event as well as the associated press coverage gave them a better idea of what we're pursuing at least in our collaboration with the ICF. The event also provided an opportunity for stakeholders to directly engage with CIRDI project team members.
· Gaining experience in organizing different kind of workshops, i.e. non-academic. Not only did this experience confirm our decision to partner with the Min of Foreign Affairs' International Cooperation Fund (they handled all the logistics of the workshop amazingly and were very pleasant and gracious hosts), but the workshop was an opportunity to gain experience in managing speakers, expectations for attendance, and ideas for how to structure such events.
· Visit to Mongolia for project manager as important occasion to gain understanding of Mongolian context given that we're not setting up an in-country structure. The conference offered an ideal venue for her to meet with a variety of stakeholders right at the beginning of her visit.
· Planning for next activity. The workshop itself provoked lots of ideas and some discussions about how to follow up. The next workshop we had originally planned has already morphed significantly.
· The engagement of UBC students in Mongolia was obvious through this workshop. UBC graduate students currently completing co-op terms in Mongolia attended the workshop and served as rapporteurs. Among the workshop volunteers was CIRDI's first-ever scholarship winner, who is set to start her MA at UBC this fall. During their fieldtrip to Oyu Tolgoi, the international delegates also encountered a recent UBC graduate now working at OT.
Impact on Foreign Delegates
· Opportunities to deepen pre-existing ties. One of the delegates met a former classmate, now speaker of the Mongolian parliament.
· Distant connections. The Khazari of Afghanistan are distantly-related to contemporary Mongolians and there are a number of Khazari students in Ulaanbaatar. While they didn't meet, our Afghan delegate was in touch with them.
· All six foreign delegates visited Mongolia for the first time. To the extent that such mutual visits across Asia are a generic benefit (i.e. beyond the more targeted exchange about Mongolian mining governance experience), that is terrific! First-hand experience of Oyu Tolgoi, Mongolia's largest copper mine proved a particularly valuable experience for the delegates, as was demonstrated by the excited exchange between international delegates and the OT Operations General Manager during the OT field visit.
· One delegate reported that when the invitation for the workshop came, all colleagues said, "it can't be done, you won't get a passport, visa, etc." This delegate was the first among colleagues to attend an international workshop of this kind, hopefully signalling that this kind of participation is possible to other colleagues.
· At least one international delegate was initially taken aback by the fact that the workshop was being co-funded by a Canadian agency (CIRDI), as Canadian mining interests have a negative reputation in his home country. By the end of the workshop, however, this delegate had a better rounded insight into Canada's role in the mining sector, and bid a friendly farewell to the Canadian organizers.
· Access to large scale mining sites in Afghanistan is limited to women, for various reasons. The field visit to Oyu Tolgoi was therefore of particular value to our female Afghan delegate.
Impact on Mongolians
· Opportunity to discuss taken-for-granted topics by reflecting on other country contexts.
· Efficient form of introductory learning. As we know from an academic context, a focused workshop can be a terrific introduction to a broader topic. For many people, participating in a workshop for half a day is a more efficient way of acquiring an overview than reading a specialized book on the same subject matter. While the project team and foreign delegates participated in the workshop for the entire time, some Mongolian participants may have used this as a limited, but efficient learning opportunity.
Mongolian Parliament recognizes domestic violence as a criminal offense
MP Ts.Oyungerel has led the charge in groundbreaking legislation to combat domestic violence in Mongolia.
By Lila Seidman
June 16 (UB Post) Mongolian Parliament voted on May 13 to make domestic violence a criminal offense for the first time in the country's history.
The law, which will go into effect on September 1, was drafted with the help of President Ts.Elbegdorj, Minister of Justice D.Dorligjav, former Minister of Justice T. Khishigdemberel, and the National Center Against Violence, among others.
Prior to the passage of the amended Law to Combat Domestic Violence (LCDV) in 2016, domestic violence was largely viewed as a "domestic matter" by the courts. Without formal classification as a criminal offense, it was exceedingly difficult to effectively punish perpetrators and protect victims.
MP and former advisor to the president Ts. Oyungerel, who has championed the law for more than a decade, believes that the amended law will usher in a new chapter in domestic relations, "A happier, more prosperous family life will be the major character of Mongolia very soon," she tells The UB Post.
However, the process of passing the amended law was fraught with challenges. Oyungerel says she "literally cried out" when she saw the second draft of the law, which would have punished domestic violence with six months of house arrest.
"All women MPs cried out, saying, 'We are going to harbor the perpetrator at home [while the domestic violence continues]?'" she recalls. "No way."
They reformulated "different layers of punishment", which Oyungerel says, "will not destroy the family economy, and at the same time, will protect the victims."
Domestic violence that does not result in serious injury or death will be punished by a restraining order. Domestic violence that results in serious injury or death will now be punishable by imprisonment.
Governmental action and legal support for victims is overdue. The UN reports that one out of five Mongolian women suffers physical harm because of domestic violence. Between 2010 and 2015, 80 people lost their lives and 3,299 people were injured due to domestic violence.
Of victims of domestic violence, 88.3 percent are women, and 64.6 percent are children.
Mongolia's first-ever LCDV was passed in 2004. Although considered an important first step in addressing the long-ignored issue of domestic violence, it was largely ineffectual. It lacked adequate budgetary support and its provisions conflicted with existing laws, preventing
Amendments similar to those passed last month were reviewed by Parliament from October until February 2014, but were ultimately rejected. The law received a second chance when President Elbegdorj resubmitted it this year.
Although the new LCDV represents significant progress, "this law alone wasn't the whole struggle," Oyungerel explains.
To create the proper infrastructure needed to support the LCVD, six other laws were amended, including the Criminal Code, Law on Law Enforcement, Law on Administrative Violations, Law on Criminal Procedure, Law on Marshals Service, and the Law on Victim and Witness Protection. All newly amended laws will go into effect on September 1. MP Ts.Oyungerel says that this is the first time that domestic violence has been addressed
in laws beyond the LCDV.
Under the new Law on Law Enforcement, police are required to treat domestic violence calls as a top priority. It grants them the authority to enter a home immediately if a victim's life or health is at stake, and to remove children who are in danger of harm.
The 2016 Law on Administrative Violations requires every citizen to report child abuse and "encourages" citizens to report domestic violence between adults. Those who do not report child abuse will face fines.
Ideally, every locality, soum and province will have a community council that will work with law enforcement to identify local problems and develop solutions tailored to the community.
Ts.Oyungerel says the new Criminal Code will increase leniency for women who hurt or kill their partners as a means of self-defense. Currently, women who kill abusive husbands are often given enhanced sentences (an additional five to ten years) if a judge believes they were
motivated by revenge.
The new Criminal Code eliminates the so-called "revenge provision" and recognizes the legitimacy of self-defense. The provision is retroactive, meaning that women currently charged under the revenge provision will have their sentences recalculated. Some women's sentences will be reduced and others will be released. "I look forward to their freedom,"
Because there are so many new laws and provisions going into effect on September 1, lawyers are already being trained on the upcoming changes. According to Oyungerel, State Secretary B. Jigmiddash has launched "behavior changing" initiatives to facilitate understanding of the new LCDV even before it goes into effect.
"Women MPs were very key in passing all these laws, because all the talking and all the risks were on our shoulders," says the MP, who is one of nine female MPs in Parliament. "So men didn't have to [take] political risks to talk about domestic violence. They silently supported us."
Oyungerel recently discussed the new laws concerning domestic violence with her constituents, though she was nervous about the response. Drawing on Mongolian traditional wisdoms, she told them, "Our tradition says that everybody, if you are human, must understand each other by your tongue. Only animals understand each other by their feet. So let's understand each other by our language, by our tongue, and let's learn to discuss our domestic problems without using our fists." Her audience applauded.
Oyungerel believes that more "calculated politicians" will wait until after the June 29 parliamentary elections to openly address the new laws concerning domestic violence, for fear of losing votes from voters who still believe domestic violence is a "domestic matter."
US experts: "Victims of domestic violence need time to heal"
June 17 (gogo.mn) GoGo Mongolia interviewed U.S. experts who came to Mongolia in frame of "Combating Gender-Based Violence in Mongolia" project.
Visiting U.S. experts Katherine Tepas, Senior Policy Advisor and Program Director at the Office of the Governor, State of Alaska and Michelle Dewitt, Executive Director, Bethel Community Services Foundation (BCSF).
- PARTICIPANT BIOS -
Katherine has experience in building teams within governmental and non-profit sectors and developing the capacities of culturally diverse stakeholder groups in urban and rural communities. Katherine Tepas has worked to combat intimate partner violence and child exploitation for over two decades. One major accomplishment was the development of a "dashboard" to monitor key statewide indicators and performance measures. She has engaged and collaborated with over 170 Alaskan communities. Ms. Tepas also served as the governor's senior policy advisor on public safety and corrections issues.
Michelle's duties include developing and managing endowed and non-endowed funds, managing BCSF's community capacity-building interests throughout the community and Yukon-Kuskokwim region, supporting existing and emerging projects that support the health and well-being of the region, partnering with other funders to leverage capital for community projects and managing BCSF's real estate holdings. Before BCSF, Michelle served as the Executive Director of Tundra Women's Coalition (TWC) in Bethel. TWC is a shelter and outreach program serving Bethel and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region. In 2012 Michelle was appointed to serve on the State of Alaska Task Force on the Crimes of Human Trafficking, Promoting Prostitution and Sex Trafficking.
- FULL INTERVIEW -
- Please tell us more about the project?
Mongolia's legislation discussed with World Bank's governance specialists
June 17 (UB Post) Secretary General of the Office of the Parliament B.Boldbaatar met with a World Bank delegation led by Governance Specialist at the World Bank's Governance Global Practice Elin Bergman on Tuesday to discuss legal and regulatory processes in Mongolia.
Corruption Risk Assessment in Mining Sector of Mongolia
June 7 (UNDP) --
The mining sector plays an important role in the Mongolian economy, and therefore it is critical that the sector be transparent, accountable and corruption-free. The corruption prevention measures will be more effective when corruption risks of the mining sector are studied systematically. Corruption prevention will be more effective if corruption risks of the mining sector are studied systematically.
In response to this necessity, the Independent Research Institute of Mongolia (IRIM) conducted an assessment and identified corruption risks in the four phases of mining: exploration, pre-operation, operation and post-operation phases of the geology and mining sector. The assessment was commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and used A Practitioner's Guide for Corruption Risk Mitigation in Extractive Industries (developed by UNDP). Forty-three interviews were conducted with representatives - from ministries, agencies, local authorities, civil society organizations and mining companies - involved in decision-making in the four phases of mining. Also, a desk review of 70 documents was conducted. This assessment did not cover common minerals, uranium, oil and artisanal mining. Also, it did not study licensing issues of mining construction in detail, which are more related to other sectors. Furthermore, corruption risks related to public procurement were not studied in detail, since they apply to all sectors.
This assessment report consists of six chapters, conclusions and appendicies. The first chapter introduces the assessment methodology, and the second chapter outlines the current situation in the mining sector, its contribution to the economy and the legal environment. The third chapter identifies corruption risks in the geological exploration phase and the fourth chapter identifies corruption risks in the pre-operation phase. The fifth chapter deals with corruption risks in the operation phase while the sixth chapter classifies corruption risks in the post-operation phase.
Brief conclusions, summarizing identified risks and factors contributing to them are included at the end of each of the chapters. A total of 15 corruption risks were identified as a result of the assessment, are summarised in the general conclusions. The assessment team aimed to reflect views of the respondents – ministries, agencies, aimag and soum governors, Citizens Representatives Khurals, CSOs, state and private companies, civil society organisations, industry associations and local citizens-equally; and received comments from all key stakeholders. The assesment team also developed a proposal for a corruption risk mitigation action plan, and submitted it to the Working Group for developing 'Corruption Risk Mitigation Action Plan'. The Working Group was established by the Resolution of the Minister for Mining No. A/40 of 12 April, 2016.
UNDP Releases 6th Mongolia National Human Development Report
June 17 (UB Post) On Monday, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released its sixth Mongolia National Human Development Report (NHDR) focusing on the country's large youth population.
"A key overriding message is the significant contribution young people can make to the country's future development. However, this contribution depends largely on the capabilities and opportunities open to them today," United Nations Resident Coordinator Beate Trankman said at Monday's press conference.
While the unusual gender gap is narrowing (the number of girls and boys enrolled in secondary education is almost equal), the gap is still evident in 16 to 19-year-old boys in rural areas. Among young people with disabilities, only 66.2 percent within the compulsory education age group are enrolled.
Mongolia launched its first NHDR in 1997, and has since seen five additional reports, including the most recent one.
To view the full Mongolia NDHR report, visit mn.undp.org
Mongolian company seeks enforcement of Moscow court award against Altan Dornod in US
MOSCOW, June 17 (RAPSI, Vladimir Yaduta) – Batbrothers, a company registered in Mongolia, seeks the recognition and enforcement of an award granted by the Moscow Commercial Court in favor of Gazprombank in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
According to the case materials RAPSI has at its disposal, the Mongolian company alleges that in February 2006 Gazprombank entered into a facility agreement with Zolotoy Vostok-Mongolia (Golden East Mongolia, GEM), a gold mining company. The agreement provided for a total disbursement limit of $30 million in three tranches and stipulated an annual interest rate of 12.5%. The loan was secured by a personal guarantee by Sergey Paushok, the GEM Executive Director, the company's equipment worth $6.2 million, and subsoil and exploration licenses worth about $33.7 million. Another guarantor of payments under the agreement was Zolotoy Vostok-Sibir (Golden East Siberia, GES).
In case the borrower failed to repay the loans, the lender could impose a penalty of 0.1% of the amount due for each day of delay. Since November 2008, the interest rate was adjusted from 12.5% to 18%.
Later, due to the fact that the borrower failed to comply with the loan agreement, Gazprombank lodged a claim with the Moscow Commercial Court seeking to recover the arrears in the amount of $25 million (for the outstanding principal and interest) and about $22 million in default interest and penalties for failure to repay the outstanding amounts. In 2012, the Moscow Commercial Court rendered a judgment in favor of Gazprombank having fully granted the demands of the plaintiff and imposing on each defendant the payment of court fees in the amount of 200,000 rubles ($3,000).
Allegedly, Gazpormbank has later transferred the rights relating to the enforcement of this award to Batbrothers company, which lodged the respective claim with a US court in April 2015. The defendants should have been properly summoned under the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (the Convention). However, according to the plaintiff, the proper service of the process could not be accomplished because Mongolia, where the plaintiff believed GEM was located, was not a signatory to the Convention, whereas Russia had refused to service summons from the USA since 2003.
Therefore, Batbrothers made a motion with a US court seeking permission to use alternative methods of service the defendants located outside of the USA. Last week, the court denied this motion having noted that the company had not exhausted the means to provide adequate evidence demonstrating valid addresses of the both defendants, that the both defendants were still viable entities, and documentation of the assignment agreement between the plaintiff and Gazprombank.
Horse meat export rises 62% in first five months
Source: Bloomberg TV Mongolia
June 17 (gogo.mn) In the first five months of 2016, Mongolia has exported 1947 tonnes of horse meat which is a increase of 62 percent compared to the same period of previous year. This translates into $3.6 million, reports National Statistics Office.
This year, meat export market shrinked because Mongolia is exporting horse meat only to Russia, reports General Agency of Customs and Taxation. In May last year, Mongolia exported meat to China, Russia and Kazakhstan but this year Mongolia didn't export to Kazakhstan.
Also starting this May, Mongolia has stopped exporting horse meat to China and exported mutton and goat meat for the first time.
Mongolia's western region five aimags were declared murrain-free zone by specialized investigation agency of the People's Republic of China and thus gave permission to "Mon Tuva", "Zavkhan khuns group" and "Mongolia Eco Meat" to export meat.
Mongolia-Xinjiang Uyghur joint expo opens at Hunnu Mall
Ulaanbaatar, June 17 (MONTSAME) The 7th joint exhibition of Mongolia and Chinese Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region opened Friday in the Hunnu Mall center in Ulaanbaatar.
Co-organized by the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Administrations of Hami and Altay divisions of Xinjiang region, the fair is displaying foods, agricultural products, handicrafts, and fruits produced both at home and Chinese Xinjiang region. Moreover, tourism and investment companies are presenting their services.
On the sidelines of the exhibition to last until Sunday, a forum of Mongolian and Xinjiang business people will be held.
Helping tourists: 110 student police start work in UB
June 17 (news.mn) This is the third year that the student police are on the streets of Ulaanbaatar. The student police initiative is part of "Protecting tourists from the crime and to solving criminal cases related to tourists" which itself is part of the 2013-2016 operation program by the City Mayor and Governor. The City Representative Assembly, the City Tourism Authority and the City Police Authority are organizing the program for the third year.
This year, 110 students have applied to work as student police in 55 parts of 7 districts of Ulaanbaatar. They started work on 15th June and will continue until August.
The City Administration media bureau has informed that the student police program has proved very useful for tourists who need advice, support, directions and information about the services available in UB. Many of the students are majoring in foreign languages, so they are able to help not only the tourists but back up their full-time colleagues.
Annual "Ulaanbaatar Dialogue" conference on NE Asian Security concluded
ULAN BATOR, June 17 (Xinhua) -- The 3rd international conference under " Ulaanbaatar Dialogue" initiative on Northeast Asian Security concluded here Friday.
The conference was co-organized by Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Institute for Strategic Studies under the National Security Council.
According to Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this year both DPRK and ROK were present for the first time.
About 150 delegates from China, Russia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan, the United States, Germany, India, the Great Britain, Australia, France and the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation participated in the two-day conference and exchanged views on regional security and cooperation.
The range of discussion at this conference is widening year by year, Apart from security issues , delegates also discussed regional economic cooperation and infrastructure connectivity, environmental protection and disaster management.
Chinese experts made remarks to the conference on issues, among others, Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, forging a community of shared destiny for mankind and building a climate resilient society.
"Countries should be consistent with the trend of the times, grasp the right direction, and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results by firmly establishing the awareness of a community of shared destiny for all mankind."said Ruan Zongze, executive vice president and senior fellow of China Institute of International Studies.
Mongolia holds annual "Ulaanbaatar Dialogue" conference focusing on maintaining dialogue between different stakeholders of East Asian security issues through dialogue.
Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren noted that Mongolia is striving to make its contribution to the security of the region and answered to the questions of the delegates on foreign policy.
Within the framework of the "Ulaanbaatar Dialogue" Initiative, a series of important meetings, including the "Northeast Asian Women Parliamentarians Conference", the "Northeast Asian City Mayor's Forum", "Energy Connectivity Workshop" and "Northeast Asian Youth Symposium" were also held here.
The landlocked country put forward the "Ulaanbaatar Dialogue" initiative on Northeast Asian Security aiming to play a role in promoting regional security with its advantage of good relations with all countries in the region.
"Ulaanbaatar Dialogue": Both Koreas discuss security at conference – news.mn, June 17
CAMCA: Tbilisi hosts prestigious forum on Greater Central Asia region
June 18 (Agenda.ge) More than a hundred international and regional leaders have convened in Georgia's capital Tbilisi to explore key issues, opportunities and challenges facing the Greater Central Asia region.
Tbilisi is hosting a three-day event - the 2016 CAMCA (Central Asia-Mongolia-Caucasus-Afghanistan) Regional Forum - organised by the Rumsfeld Foundation together with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins University.
The event opened yesterday with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili delivering a speech this morning.
Mongolian president urges Myanmar civil servants to avoid graft
June 17 (Myanmar Times) Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj yesterday urged Myanmar government officials to avoid bribery and other forms of corruption.
"As bribery is against the law, your political activities need to be free from it. It depends on you," he said during a meeting at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Nay Pyi Taw.
Mr Elbegdorj's statement was in response to a question from a staffer from the Ministry of Transportation and Communication about the extent of corruption in Mongolia.
"For me, I never work for my own interest. I always look at what's best for the people. Trying to make money using your power is not good. It is not the work of politicians," Mr Elbegdorj said.
"There is no one involved in bribery among my family members," he added.
Assistant lecturer from Magwe University Daw San Moh Moh Thu, who attended yesterday's speech, said the first priority should be to ensure the people of Myanmar know what democracy is, rather than focusing on reducing graft.
"Here, people think they can do what they want under a democratic system. They should understand first what democracy is," she said, adding that democratic change would be more difficult in Myanmar than in other countries due to a lack of transparency.
"The government needs to tell people what they are doing. In the past, people did not know everything that was going on. If people are told what the government is doing, then they will collaborate with the government by giving suggestions," she said.
Mongolian president calls for graft busting – Eleven Myanmar, June 18
President of Mongolia concludes official visit to Myanmar
June 17 (gogo.mn) On June 14, the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj arrived in Naypyidaw for a working visit to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. At the welcoming, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Myanmar T.Tugsbilguun and from Myanmar side, Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Ohn Win and other officials were present.
In the scope of the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and Myanmar, the President of Mongolia paid a working visit to Myanmar from 14-16 June, 2016.
PRESIDENT ELBEGDORJ PARTICIPATES IN MONGOLIA-MYANMAR CEO CONFERENCE
PRESIDENT ELBEGDORJ MET WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE OSLO CENTER
PRESIDENT ELBEGDORJ HOLDS OFFICIAL TALKS WITH HIS MYANMAR COUNTERPART
A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WAS SIGNED BETWEEN MONGOLIA AND MYANMAR
PRESIDENT MEETS AUNG SAN SUU KYI
President returns home after visiting Myanmar – Montsame, June 17
Presidents of Mongolia and Myanmar hold official negotiations – UB Post, June 17
49 Voices: Onya Enkhbat of Unalaska
June 17 (Alaska Public Media) This week we're hearing from Purevdulam "Onya" Enkhbat. She recently graduated from Unalaska High School where she was valedictorian.
ENKHBAT: I came from Mongolia about three years ago as a sophomore here. I was thinking that it would probably be colder and when I think of Alaska, I just think of dog mushing and ice. But when I get here in Unalaska it was so different. There were no caribous or bears.
Just for homeworks I had to sit for like 5 to 6 hours at least to translate all my textbooks and homeworks and try to understand my lectures from my teachers and everything.
I actually learned English since I was in 4th grade, I believe. But it was not good at all. I was not fluent. I could not like understand what people were saying. I could not read a lot of book except 3rd or 4th grade [level] books.
When I was in Mongolia I was not a reader at all. I did not read books for fun.
My stepmother took me to the public library and handed me some books to try and when I opened the books I just could not understand any of that. And it was just not fun for me to try and read all of them, but one book caught my eye and it was the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. When I opened the first page of the book it warned me to stop reading if I thought I was a half-blood. And I didn't know what half-blood meant so I was like, if you're going to warn me to stop reading, I'm just going to keep reading.
I'm going back to my home country Mongolia and I'm going to be there for the whole summer and I'm going to come back in August and go to college at UAA.
I honestly feel like I'll miss Alaska when I go to Mongolia which is kind of ironic because I probably would have never thought I would miss some other country other than my home country.
Link to article (and audio)
US govt to fund kindergarten construction in Zamyn-Uud
Ulaanbaatar, June 17 (MONTSAME) A feasibility has been launched to construct a 50-bed kindergarten in Dornogobi aimag's Zamyn-Uud soum with a financing from the US government.
Governor of Zamyn-Uud soum M.Bayarmonkh received Thursday a project management from the US Embassy in Mongolia and other officials, and gave them information about a justification for constructing the kindergarten, its infrastructure and location.
The 3rd baga (smallest rural administrative unit) of Zamyn-Uud soum has a population of some 3,000 people, and majority of them live in ger areas, therefore a kindergarten is indispensable for children in the baga, said M.Bayarmonkh.
Having analyzed a location for the new kindergarten, the US officials will choose the final spot for the kindergarten and will deliver relevant information by August of this year. The construction is expected to start in 2017.
Japan provides ₮720 million assistance to Mongolia's biggest museum
June 17 (gogo.mn) "Mongolian National History Museum exhibit reservation equipment improvement project" was implemented by Government of Japan. Therefore, equipment acceptance ceremony will be held today at National History Museum at 15 pm.
The project was implemented by grant from Government of Japan, in collaboration between JICA - Mongolian government in 2015-2016. This sets a new stage in properly reserving some 60 thousand rare, priceless artificats and cultural heritage that dates back to prehistoric times.
Grant aid amounts 38,3 million Japanese yen which translates into about 720 million tugrik.
Archaeologist Dr. Julia Clark discusses decade-long career in Mongolia
June 16 (UB Post) "There is some Indiana Jones in what we do," says Dr. Julia Clark, an American archaeologist who has been working in Mongolia since 2007. "I'm not fighting Nazis, but I am on an amazing adventure."
"It's more than a job. It's a passion," Clark says of her two positions. "That sounds so corny, but it is."
Young Mongols video series spotlights leaders of tomorrow
June 16 (UB Post) Aubrey Menard didn't come to Mongolia with the intention of creating Young Mongols, a 10-episode video series spotlighting young, innovative Mongolians.
"People know about Chinggis Khan and maybe they know about nomads and the steppes. They have this vision of Mongolia as this place where everyone rides horses," she says, referring to her friends' and family's reactions when she told them she was moving to Mongolia for a year.
What's it like to be an LGBTQI person in Mongolia?
By Aubrey Menard
June 10 (Huffington Post) LGBTQI life in Mongolia is probably better than you imagine it to be. Credit goes to the activism of the LGBT Center and its President, Anaraa Nyamdorj. This video describes the challenges facing the community, their successful advocacy, and their optimistic view of Mongolia's future.
This video is the third in the video documentary series Young Mongols, an effort to help modernize the world's perspective on Mongolia and highlight the amazing work of some of its young people.
June 19 (UB Post) Creeping its way into international media and viral news is the story of Mongolia abandoning its existing address system and "adopting" the addressing system of the what3words app nationwide.
Residential delivery does not exist unless you pay for premium delivery service from Mongol Post. Mail is delivered to businesses and large organizations, but you won't find mailboxes in Soviet-style block apartment buildings. Sometimes you're lucky to find light bulbs in their stairwells.
Video: Mongolia's letter swap – BBC News, June 19
Mongolia Adopts An Innovative System of 3-Word Locations – Big Think, June 18
Mongolia Adopts Address System That Uses Three-Word Names – Smithsonian, June 17
You'll soon be able to find any address in Mongolia with just three words – Lonely Planet, June 15
Ego is the Enemy: The Legend of Genghis Khan
In his new book, Ego is the Enemy, Ryan Holiday tells the story of Genghis Khan and how his openness to learning was the foundation of his success.
By Ryan Holiday
June 14 (Farnam Street) The legend of Genghis Khan has echoed through history: A barbarian conqueror, fueled by bloodlust, terrorizing the civilized world. We have him and his Mongol horde traveling across Asia and Europe, insatiable, stopping at nothing to plunder, rape, and kill not just the people who stood in their way, but the cultures they had built. Then, not unlike his nomadic band of warriors, this terrible cloud simply disappeared from history, because the Mongols built nothing that could last. Like all reactionary, emotional assessments, this could not be more wrong. For not only was Genghis Khan one of the greatest military minds who ever lived, he was a perpetual student, whose stunning victories were often the result of his ability to absorb the best technologies, practices, and innovations of each new culture his empire touched. In fact, if there is one theme in his reign and in the several centuries of dynastic rule that followed, it's this: appropriation.
Under Genghis Khan's direction, the Mongols were as ruthless about stealing and absorbing the best of each culture they encountered as they were about conquest itself. Though there were essentially no technological inventions, no beautiful buildings or even great Mongol art, with each battle and enemy, their culture learned and absorbed something new. Genghis Khan was not born a genius. Instead, as one biographer put it, his was "a persistent cycle of pragmatic learning, experimental adaptation, and constant revision driven by his uniquely disciplined and focused will."
He was the greatest conqueror the world ever knew because he was more open to learning than any other conqueror has ever been.
Khan's first powerful victories came from the reorganization of his military units, splitting his soldiers into groups of ten. This he stole from neighboring Turkic tribes, and unknowingly converted the Mongols to the decimal system. Soon enough, their expanding empire brought them into contact with another "technology" they'd never experienced before: walled cities. In the Tangut raids, Khan first learned the ins and outs of war against fortified cities and the strategies critical to laying siege, and quickly became an expert. Later, with help from Chinese engineers, he taught his soldiers how to build siege machines that could knock down city walls. In his campaigns against the Jurched, Khan learned the importance of winning hearts and minds. By working with the scholars and royal family of the lands he conquered, Khan was able to hold on to and manage these territories in ways that most empires could not. Afterward, in every country or city he held, Khan would call for the smartest astrologers, scribes, doctors, thinkers, and advisers—anyone who could aid his troops and their efforts. His troops traveled with interrogators and translators for precisely this purpose.
It was a habit that would survive his death. While the Mongols themselves seemed dedicated almost solely to the art of war, they put to good use every craftsman, merchant, scholar, entertainer, cook, and skilled worker they came in contact with. The Mongol Empire was remarkable for its religious freedoms, and most of all, for its love of ideas and convergence of cultures. It brought lemons to China for the first time, and Chinese noodles to the West. It spread Persian carpets, German mining technology, French metalworking, and Islam. The cannon, which revolutionized warfare, was said to be the resulting fusion of Chinese gunpowder, Muslim flamethrowers, and European metalwork. It was Mongol openness to learning and new ideas that brought them together.
As we first succeed, we will find ourselves in new situations, facing new problems. The freshly promoted soldier must learn the art of politics. The salesman, how to manage. The founder, how to delegate. The writer, how to edit others. The comedian, how to act. The chef turned restaurateur, how to run the other side of the house.
This is not a harmless conceit. The physicist John Wheeler, who helped develop the hydrogen bomb, once observed that "as our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." In other words, each victory and advancement that made Khan smarter also bumped him against new situations he'd never encountered before. It takes a special kind of humility to grasp that you know less, even as you know and grasp more and more. It's remembering Socrates' wisdom lay in the fact that he knew that he knew next to nothing.
With accomplishment comes a growing pressure to pretend that we know more than we do. To pretend we already know everything. Scientia infla (knowledge puffs up). That's the worry and the risk—thinking that we're set and secure, when in reality understanding and mastery is a fluid, continual process.
The nine-time Grammy– and Pulitzer Prize–winning jazz musician Wynton Marsalis once advised a promising young musician on the mind-set required in the lifelong study of music: "Humility engenders learning because it beats back the arrogance that puts blinders on. It leaves you open for truths to reveal themselves. You don't stand in your own way. . . . Do you know how you can tell when someone is truly humble? I believe there's one simple test: because they consistently observe and listen, the humble improve. They don't assume, 'I know the way.'"
No matter what you've done up to this point, you better still be a student. If you're not still learning, you're already dying.
It is not enough only to be a student at the beginning. It is a position that one has to assume for life. Learn from everyone and everything. From the people you beat, and the people who beat you, from the people you dislike, even from your supposed enemies. At every step and every juncture in life, there is the opportunity to learn—and even if the lesson is purely remedial, we must not let ego block us from hearing it again.
Too often, convinced of our own intelligence, we stay in a comfort zone that ensures that we never feel stupid (and are never challenged to learn or reconsider what we know). It obscures from view various weaknesses in our understanding, until eventually it's too late to change course. This is where the silent toll is taken.
Each of us faces a threat as we pursue our craft. Like sirens on the rocks, ego sings a soothing, validating song— which can lead to a wreck. The second we let the ego tell us we have graduated, learning grinds to a halt. That's why Frank Shamrock said, "Always stay a student." As in, it never ends.
The solution is as straightforward as it is initially uncomfortable: Pick up a book on a topic you know next to nothing about. Put yourself in rooms where you're the least knowledgeable person. That uncomfortable feeling, that defensiveness that you feel when your most deeply held assumptions are challenged—what about subjecting yourself to it deliberately? Change your mind. Change your surroundings
An amateur is defensive. The professional finds learning (and even, occasionally, being shown up) to be enjoyable; they like being challenged and humbled, and engage in education as an ongoing and endless process.
Most military cultures—and people in general—seek to impose values and control over what they encounter. What made the Mongols different was their ability to weigh each situation objectively, and if need be, swap out previous practices for new ones. All great businesses start this way, but then something happens. Take the theory of disruption, which posits that at some point in time, every industry will be disrupted by some trend or innovation that, despite all the resources in the world, the incumbent interests will be incapable of responding to. Why is this? Why can't businesses change and adapt?
A large part of it is because they lost the ability to learn. They stopped being students. The second this happens to you, your knowledge becomes fragile.
The great manager and business thinker Peter Drucker says that it's not enough simply to want to learn. As people progress, they must also understand how they learn and then set up processes to facilitate this continual education. Otherwise, we are dooming ourselves to a sort of self-imposed ignorance.
Mongolia considers German environmental technologies for waste water treatment
June 17 (UB Post) Mongolian representatives exchanged views with German companies on introducing new technologies for efficient waste water treatment and processing.
Memory athletes conquer 1st Malaysia Open Memory Tournament
June 16 (UB Post) Thirteen athletes from the Mongolian Intellectual Academy, coached by B.Baasandorj, competed in the 1st Malaysia Open Memory Tournament, held in Penang, Malaysia on June 11 and 12.
Peking to Paris Motor Challenge makes a stop in UB
June 17 (gogo.mn) The sixth running of the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge begun on Sunday 12th June 2016 as 110 crews cross the start line at the Great Wall of China in Beijing with an 8,500-mile rally ahead of them. Competitors will cross eleven countries including Mongolia's Gobi Desert, Russia and Belarus before entering Europe to reach the finish line in the centre of Paris on Sunday 17th July.
Today they restart from the Chinggis Khan square. They have arrived in UB on June 16 while they will leave UB today and will head to Bulgan aimag.
More crews are taking part in the 2016 outing than ever before, with 50 cars dated pre-1942 in the Vintageant class and 60 in the Classic class dated pre-1977. The 2013 Classics winner, and the oldest competitor in the event, Gerry Crown from Australia will complete in the mighty 1974 Leyland P74. Gerry, aged 84, has competed in all five of the Endurance Rally Association's revivals of this epic adventure.
New media arts celebrated in a month-long festival in UB
June 16 (UB Post) Ulaanbaatar is now celebrating the first Ulaanbaatar International Media Art Festival (UBIMAF), taking place from June 9 to July 9, at the Fine Arts Zanabazar Museum. The event is being carried out in partnership with Goethe-Institut Mongolia, and is being organized by the Arts Council of Mongolia and its sponsors.
The main gallery dedicated to the festival includes several artworks, among which are a video by Danish artist Amalie Smith entitled "Eyes Touching Finger Seeing", an interactive installation about Tibetan Buddhism and shamanistic sky worship by Mongolian artist Ganzug Sedbazar, and "Locked Treasure Box" by Munkhtsetseg Batmunkh, as well as other work from other international artists.
Daily Meditation: Mongolian Overtones
June 9 (Huffington Post) We all need help maintaining our personal spiritual practice. We hope that these Daily Meditations, prayers and mindful awareness exercises can be part of bringing spirituality alive in your life.
Today's meditation features a mesmerizing performance of Mongolian throat singing, a variant of overtone singing practiced by people in Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Tuva and Siberia. Let the colliding notes wash over you as you enter a deep meditative state.
Link to article (and video)
'Spring Warmth' brings nature to the city
June 16 (UB Post) Batbaatar Namsraijav presented his new exhibition, "Spring Warmth", at Blue Moon Art
Gallery in Ulaanbaatar. The young artist's paintings of natural landscapes and wide open spaces was on view through June 15.
The artist's past solo exhibitions include "Portrait" in 2010 at Xanadu Art Gallery, and "Anir" at Khan Bank Art Gallery in 2011. He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions in Mongolia and abroad.
Austrian artists speak about Vienna Week and cultural cooperation
Austrian artists came together for a week of cultural exchange in Ulaanbaatar.
June 16 (UB Post) Since 1999, the Cultural Center of Austria has organized the Viennese Waltz event every year in Ulaanbaatar. However, since 2014, the event has grown in scale and an entire week of concerts and performances of Austrian music and dance is now put in place. As part of the 2016 Vienna Week organized in Ulaanbaatar from June 6 to 11, The UB Post had the pleasure of speaking with renowned Austrian conductor and pianist Matthias Fletzberger, and Arnold Obermayr, the cultural counsellor of the Austrian Embassy in Beijing.
FCO Travel Update for Mongolia: Entry Requirements Section – Entering Mongolia by Car
June 17 (UK Foreign Office) --
Entering Mongolia by car
If you're entering Mongolia by car you should familiarise yourself with Mongolian Customs law.
If you're entering Mongolia in a private vehicle you should complete the customs declaration form and make sure you have all valid vehicle documents, including driving licence, ownership records and insurance. You can complete the customs declaration forms on entry at the border, as well as at the Ulaanbaatar City Customs Office situated next to the train station in Ulaanbaatar.
If you enter Mongolia in a private vehicle you must leave in the same vehicle, or otherwise pay customs tax. The amount of tax depends on the size of the engine and the value of your vehicle. You can find more details on Mongolian Customs' webpage.
If your vehicle breaks down in Mongolia, you won't be able to leave it there without paying customs tax. If your vehicle breaks down and can't be fixed you must either pay for it to be transported out of Mongolia, or sell it on to a local mechanic, but you'll still need to pay customs tax. You mustn't under any circumstance leave your vehicle unattended or abandon it.
If you're leaving your vehicle in Mongolia you must leave it in a secure place, either with a mechanic or at an official Customs warehouse, for which you will need to submit a completed customs declaration form and pay a monthly fee for storage. If you leave your vehicle with a mechanic in Mongolia because it can't be fixed, you must provide proof (photos and a letter from a mechanic and a police report) of this to the Customs Office. If you choose to sell your vehicle, you'll need to show proof of sale.
Customs tax is payable in local currency (MNT) only and must be paid directly to the Customs Office. If you wish to leave your vehicle and then return to collect it at a later date you should still pay the tax up front, which can then be reimbursed to you when you return to take your vehicle out of Mongolia. If you aren't able to return in person, ask a third party to make the initial tax payment, and then collect the refund on your behalf.
JCI Mongolia International Jeep Tour 2016 Promo
April 7 (JCI Progress) --
French traveler speaks about his time in Mongolia
June 17 (UB Post) Sylvain Schots, a French traveller and blogger, has fallen in love with Asia since he left his home country for China in 2011. Originally coming for a few months, he has now visited no less than 14 countries and is still based on the continent five years later – and counting. Earlier this year he has released a four-minute video of this epic adventure, "5 Years in Asia", which went viral on the internet, earning him several interviews and countless articles of web magazines from France and beyond. As a part of his big trip included a year in Mongolia, he spoke to The UB Post about his experience in Chinggis Khaan's birthplace.
Asia was a continent that attracted me since my earliest childhood. I was fascinated by these cultures that I could then only imagine thanks to photos and reports. I dreamt of going there one day but I would never have imagined settling there for an extended period of time.
Suite 303, Level 3, Elite Complex
14 Chinggis Avenue, Sukhbaatar District 1
Ulaanbaatar 14251, Mongolia
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