Tuesday, September 27, 2016

[GoM issues ₮68.5B t-bills; MNT near historic low; PM wants to revise PetroChina PSC; and EBRD to sign Tsetsii wind park]

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

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Int'l Market

AKM closed -16.7% Monday to A$0.04

Aspire Mining: Annual Financial Report

September 23, Aspire Mining Ltd. (ASX:AKM) --

Link to report


Quam Securities' Client Ceases to Be Substantial Holder in Aspire

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Aspire Mining Investor Presentation: Silk Road Summit, Washington D.C.

The Northern Rail Corridor: An important new One Belt One Road Route for China – Europe Trade

September 27, Aspire Mining Ltd. (ASX:AKM) --

Link to presentation


Rio Tinto launches new debt reduction programme for up to $3 billion

26 September 2016 -- Rio Tinto is again taking advantage of its strong liquidity position to further reduce gross debt, today launching a bond purchase plan for up to $3 billion.  

Under the plan, Rio Tinto has issued a redemption notice for approximately $1.5 billion of its 2017 and 2018 US dollar-denominated notes and commenced cash tender offers to purchase up to approximately $1.5 billion of its 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 US dollar-denominated notes.

Today's announcement is part of the Rio Tinto Group's ongoing capital management and follows the successful completion of $4.5 billion cash tender offers earlier this year. In April, Rio Tinto launched a programme to purchase $1.5 billion of its 2017 and 2018 notes and in June it announced plans to purchase $3 billion of its 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022 notes. Both offers were successfully completed.  In June, $1.5 billion of notes also matured and were repaid with cash.

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1878 closed +1.45% Monday to HK$2.1, +47.9% in 5 days

CIC Disposes Some SouthGobi Convertible Notes

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Centerra Gold Updates 2016 Third Quarter Results Conference Call and Webcast Notice

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - September 23, 2016) - Centerra Gold Inc. (TSX: CG) will host a conference call and webcast of its 2016 third quarter financial and operating results at 11:00AM Eastern time on Monday November 7, 2016. The results are scheduled to be released before the market opens on Monday November 7, 2016.

·         North American participants should dial the toll-free number (888)-225-2734.

·         International participants may access the call at +1 (303)-223-4367.

·         The conference call will also be broadcast live by Thomson Reuters and can be accessed at Centerra Gold's website at

·         A slide presentation of the third quarter results will also be accessible on Centerra Gold's website at

An audio recording of the call will be available approximately two hours after the call via telephone until midnight Eastern Time on Monday, November 14, 2016. The recording can be accessed by calling (416) 626-4100 or (800) 558-5253 and using the passcode 21818089. In addition the webcast will be archived on Centerra Gold's website

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Local Market

MSE Weekly Report: Top 20 -1%, ALL -0.72%, Turnover ₮162 Million Shares, 14.1 Billion T-Bills

September 23 (MSE) --

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Mogi: no trading report for Monday.


5 Billion 39-Week 16.964%, 5 Billion 52-Week 17% T-Bills on Offer at MSE

September 23 (MSE) Buy order of 39 weeks Government bonds with annual interest of 16.964%, and 52 weeks Government bonds with annual interest of 17.0% starts from 23 September 2016 until 27 September 2016 through brokerage companies.

Click here to see detailed information of 39 weeks Government bonds.

Click here to see detailed information of 52 weeks Government bonds.

Link to release


22 Billion 28-Week T-Bills Sold from Available 30 Billion at 16.775% Discount

September 23 (Bank of Mongolia) Auction for 28 weeks maturity Government Bond was announced at face value of 30.0 billion MNT. Face value of 22.0 billion /out of 29.0 billion bid/ Government Bond was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 16.775%.

Link to release


45 Billion 39-Week T-Bills Sold from Available 50 Billion at 16.964% Discount

September 23 (Bank of Mongolia) Auction for 39 weeks maturity Government Bond was announced at face value of 50.0 billion MNT. Face value of 45.0 billion /out of 45.0 billion bid/ Government Bond was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 16.964%.

Link to release


₮1.5 Billion 52-Week Bills Sold from Available ₮5 Billion at 17% Discount

September 23 (Bank of Mongolia) Auction for 52 weeks maturity Government Bond was announced at face value of 5.0 billion MNT. Face value of 1.5 billion /out of 2.5 billion bid/ Government Bond was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 17.00%.

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USD/MNT historic high ₮2,265.28, set Aug 18. Reds are rates that set a new record at the time

BoM MNT Rates: Monday, September 26 Close
















































































































































































































Bank USD rates at time of sending: Khan (Buy ₮2,260 Sell ₮2,272), TDB (Buy ₮2,260 Sell ₮2,272), Golomt (Buy ₮2,260 Sell ₮2,272), XacBank (Buy ₮2,261 Sell ₮2,273), State Bank (Buy ₮2,260 Sell ₮2,272)

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

Link to rates


BoM issues 353 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding +29.6% to 733.15 billion

September 26 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 353 billion at a weighted interest rate of 15.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


BoM issues 68 billion 12-week bills, total outstanding +12% to 633 billion

September 26 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 12 week bills worth MNT 68 billion at a weighted interest rate of 17.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


Correction to Text, August 26, 2016 Release: Moody's downgrades Mongolia's sovereign rating to B3, places it on review for further downgrade

Singapore, September 26, 2016 -- The following was added as the sixth paragraph of the press release: "The long-term local currency country risk ceiling remains unchanged at Ba3. The long-term foreign currency deposit ceiling is revised to Caa1 from B3, while the foreign currency bond ceiling is unchanged at B1. All short-term ceilings remain at Not Prime. These ceilings act as a cap on ratings that can be assigned to the foreign- and local-currency obligations of entities domiciled in the country."

Please see the Issuer/Deal Research page on or follow this link for the full corrected press release:

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Harvest expected to yield 500 thousand tons

Ulaanbaatar, September 26 (MONTSAME) On the national level, 83.1 thousand tons of potatoes, 48.7 thousand tons of vegetables, 17.9 thousand tons of plants for fodder and 2.7 thousand tons of oil plants have been harvested this autumn.

The land-farmers have planted crops on a total of 377.2 thousand hectares. According to the preliminary reports, the country is expected to harvest 501.0 thousand tons of crops, of which 482.1 thousand tons are wheat, and 174.7 thousand tons of potatoes, 117.5 thousand tons of vegetables, 32.5 thousand tons of oil plants, and 43.4 thousand tons of fodder plants.

Some 1,200 servicemen, 808 students and 560 school children are working for national harvesting campaign on temporary contracts.

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China's Exit & Entry Administration, Mongolia's Immigration Agency sign cooperation document

Ulaanbaatar, September 23 (MONTSAME) Officials from the Exit and Entry Administration of China, the Ministry of Public Security and the Exit and Entry Bureau of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region are paying a visit here on September 20-25.

The Exit and Entry Administration of the MPS of China and the Immigration Agency subordinate to the Ministry of Justice and Domestic Affairs of Mongolia signed on Friday a Memorandum of Understanding. In accordance, the parties are committed to activating cooperation and providing favorable environment for passengers on the basis of principles of respect for the mutual laws and regulations and of equal rights.

The MoU also outlines actions of joint studies on the border-crossing policies and regimes, exchange of information on laws, regulations and working practices, immediate sharing of information on the regulatory violence and of experiences and technologies for investigating and identifying false passports.

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Politics & Legal

President Elbegdorj's son running for local election in Bayanzurkh

September 23 ( E.Erdene, the second son of Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj, is running for local election. These are due to be held on 19th of October. E.Erdene has been nominated as the candidate for the 27th khoroo of Bayanzurkh district (Ulaanbaatar) from the Democratic party.

E.Erdene finished school in Ulaanbaatar in 2007 and graduated at Drexel University College of Medicine (Philadelphia, US) in 2011. He went on to graduate from Oxford University in 2015 with a master's degree in political analysis. He was the first Mongolian student to graduate from Oxford University and also has met Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.

The President's son also worked at the laboratory in Central Military Armed Forces Hospital for a year and participated in the peacekeeping operation in South Sudan.

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Prime Minister wraps up tour of eastern provinces

Ulaanbaatar, September 26 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister, Mr J.Erdenebat toured to Khentii and Dornod provinces on September 22-25.  The Premier started off from the birthplace of Chinggis Khaan and held a meeting with residents of Khentii on Thursday.

At the meeting, J.Erdenebat promised to settle the funding of MNT 350 million for the construction of an electric substation, which will help commissioning of the province's secondary school.

The citizens voiced their ideas and opinions on the matters related to combating animals' contagious diseases, capacity building of veterinarians and other specialists, re-construction of Khentii-Ulaanbaatar road, tourism development and commissioning of buildings of the theatre and hospital.

Then, the Premier left for Dornod province. Upon arrival, he laid wreaths at the statue of Marshall Kh.Choibalsan and headed for the meeting with the locals. The latter expressed their outrage for the mass selling of the lands to "outsiders" under the so-called authorization of establishing the Khalkhgol Free Trade Zone, and requested the PM for solution. Mentioning the size of the sold lands have hit over 320 thousand hectares, the PM pledged to cancel the previous resolutions and turn the Khalkhgol region into an industrial area for export-oriented productions. He promised to reflect the citizen's requests in the further policy decisions.

The citizens also wished to have proper measures  undertaken against the major destruction of the surrounding environment, caused by the lack of paved roads in the countryside, and proposed raise the number of Mongolian employees in Petro China Dachin Tamsag Mongol Company.

Afterwards, the Premier got au fait with the operations of Eastern Energy System JSC, which supplies electricity to Dornod and some soums of other eastern provinces. Due to the growing demand in power, the government is studying possibilities to expand the power plant capacity up to 100 megawatt.

The Government had planned to conduct expansions for five power plants within 2016, including the Eastern Energy System.

On Sunday, PM J.Erdenebat attended an opening of a fodder factory in Khalkhgol soum of Dornod.  The factory of Altai Group will produce 100 thousand tons of animal fodder and has a capacity to supply fully the domestic demand and 40-50 percent of the Northeast Asian region's consumption.

The Group has planted wheat, colza and purple medic on more than 20 thousand hectares of area. The first productions are coming out next week.

"We are yielding harvests three times each year. Two or three more such factories as this can be built. Equipped with fully automated European technology the factory avails 120 workplaces", introduced Kh.Bat-Erdene, the director-general of the Altai Construction.

The same day, the Prime Minister visited the 21st petroleum field of Petro China Dachin Tamsag. 

Link to article


PM wants to revise PSC with Petro China

Ulaanbaatar, September 26 (MONTSAME) During his working tour in Dornod aimag, Prime Minister J.Erdenebat visited the 21st area of Petro China Dachin Tamsag company. The company drilled 980 holes last year out of which 926 are operated.

Over 734 thousand tons of oil has been extracted so far this year, out of the planned 1.3 million tons for 2016.  

"Heavy investments are required for the drilling process takes a long time and the low output is yielded. These factors as well as the oil price (USD 43), are the main reason of the low performance of this project", explained the company leaders.

As of the end of 2015, the Petro China Dachin Tamsag has allocated USD 518 million in tax to the Mongolian Government budget and USD 719 million – to the Chinese Government budget, in compliance with the product sharing agreement.

Prime Minister J.Erdenebat reaffirmed the Government is working for ensuring favorable environment for the investors, and reminded that investors need to fully observe their obligations before the Mongolian laws and regulations.

The PM highlighted the necessity for the company to train Mongolian professionals and increase the number of Mongolian workers in the company. The product sharing agreement need to be revised in accordance with the recent legal changes, he added.

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De Facto: Ulaanbaatar Railway's bear service

By Jargal "DeFacto" Dambadarjaa

September 26 (UB Post) Ulaanbaatar Railway Company (UBTZ) is a truly obsolete enterprise today. The joint venture owned by Mongolia and Russia (with equal shares) is not a business, but an autonomous, socialist mini-state. Its operations are governed by an agreement established 67 years ago between two socialist countries, rather than being regulated by Mongolian legislation. UBTZ currently manages 50 percent of Mongolia's freight transport and one fourth of passenger transport. However, they do not pay any taxes to the government and run huge deficits every year.

The need to change the agreement established in 1949 is raised every time the government's authorities meet with UBTZ management. However, nothing has been done. The last of those meetings was held in Ulaanbaatar last week when the new Prime Minister had a meeting with Oleg Belozyorov, the new head of Russian Railways. Besides repeating the same line on making amendments to the 67-year-old agreement, they had a discussion on waiving diesel import taxes for UBTZ and talked about the need to use the UBTZ corridor for Eurasia's freight transport.


The length of Mongolia's railway tracks is around 1,800 kilometers, 1,100 of which are the main network connecting Sukhbaatar Port at the northern border to Zamiin Uud Port in the south. The rest, about 700 kilometers, are auxiliary tracks. A total of 320 entities and 15,343 employees work to maintain these tracks. There does not need to be such a huge number of people working on these tracks, especially when they are not that long. For example, only about 10,000 people manage Canada's 55,000 km of railway. They are managing railway tracks 50 times as long as ours with a workforce that is as big as 70 percent of UBTZ's. If UBTZ worked with the same efficiency, they would only need 2,000 people.

The reason why over 15,000 people are employed at UBTZ can be seen from its organizational structure. An example is that the areas of responsibilities of a Deputy Director of Labor and Social Affairs includes administrative services, human resources, social care (including commercial centers in Zuunkharaa and Sainshand, Gan Zam Hotel, and Jinchin Center in Zamiin Uud), the University of Transport, technical training centers, auto services, Gan Zam printing company, a song and dance ensemble, a construction department, UBTZ Central Hospital, Bayanbuural Resort, and more. They still have these social services that only exist in independent, socialist countries. It is no good for passengers if a ship sinks because of excessive weight due to overcrowding.

It looks like the Warsaw-based Organization for Cooperation of Railways dictates and sets the prices of UBTZ services high. This organization was first established by socialist countries, most of which have already left. Only a few countries, such as Russia, China, Mongolia, and North Korea, have stayed on as members, and some were almost forced to. The organization set the cost of Mongolia's railway freight transport at 28 cents per kilometer, which is 30 percent higher than the international rate (20 cents). All prices should be regulated by the market, rather than the government or an international organization. This way, the deficits will be limited and competitiveness is developed.

UBTZ is currently using loans to pay employee salaries. Over 40 percent of their operational expenditures go to UBTZ's locomotives, which only consume diesel fuel. Therefore, the current parliament made diesel fuel exempt from special import tax (approximately 36 billion MNT a year). If this was so important, why wouldn't Russians reduce their supply price for the joint venture? UBTZ authorities should be working with their Russian counterparts.

Unless UBTZ transitions to free market principles and stops its old ways of doing business, it will keep constraining Mongolia's development and never be able to stop its bear service Russians refer to incapable, obsolete services that end up being more costly and bringing about negative consequences rather than doing any good. as "bear" services.


Lately there have been many initiatives, proposals, and discussions on building transport, commercial, and logistics hubs connecting Asia and Europe. China's One Belt, One Road, and Mongolia's Steppe Road are examples of the active discussions going on. No matter what the name is, the cheapest, shortest route connecting Russia and China, and Asia and Europe, is Mongolia's railway that goes over a relatively even surface. Do the existing single-way railway tracks that go up and down the hills serve the desired purpose of the transport corridor? Can we add to the speed and capability of these tracks even if we introduce an electric system or do double tracks?

We have not made any major changes to the railway tracks that were built by prisoners, not technical workers, 70 years ago. Since it is a single-way track, one trian has to wait at a junction if two trains are going in different directions. The average speed of Mongolia's railway is extremely slow. When we were students in Russia, they used to send us there on trains. When one of was late getting the train in Ulaanbaatar, they simply drove to Darkhan and joined us there. Back then, traveling between Darkhan and Ulaanbaatar by train took twice as long as taking a car. Now, traveling by car has become four times more efficient. At some locations, people who are sitting at the head of the train can see those who are sitting at the end of the train. That is how curved the routes are, and it still has not changed.

Railway tracks must be straight and even to ensure safety, low costs, and increased efficiency. Therefore, we should talk about high-speed transit railways with the knowledge of what UBTZ looks like today. Our railway tracks need to at least be electrified and have two-way movement before thinking about meeting the demands of our neighboring countries. It is time for us to decide whether we rebuild UBTZ's obsolete railway tracks or construct a new network.


First of all, the transit railway track, which currently blocks city traffic on a regular basis, should be built around Bogd Mountain. This track should be built without UBTZ's involvement. After its commissioning, UBTZ should collect user fees.

Mongolia's corridor could go to the north with broad gauges, and to the south with narrow gauges. We should build logistics hubs within the country, so that we have a place to provide loading services when trains need to change gauges. Mongolians have the opportunity to build a double-gauge railway connecting three corridors and collect fees from neighboring countries. In my column titled "Mongolia is the Next Panama" published three years ago, I wrote that a Ж-shaped railway network is the best option in terms of economy, geopolitics, and the interests of the superpowers.

If UBTZ cannot develop and reform itself, it is time to pass the opportunity on to others. They are like a dog lying on grass – not eating the grass, but protecting it from others who would.

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Let's Imagine a Rosy MPP Future

By Julian Dierkes

September 25 (Mongolia Focus) Just a quick reminder that I don't dabble in Mongolian (party) politics, I just try to analyze political development, including parties and elections. In these analyses I try to stay as neutral and detached as I can.

Big Choice: Small-Mindedness or Future of the Country?

Given the size of the MPP majority, they clearly have the ability to carry to wide-ranging reforms if they decide to do so. But that ability also comes with a big responsibility for the country's development. If Mongolians are not better off four years from now, lots of factors will have played a role, but the MPP government will be prominent among them.

So, my rosy-tinted imagination makes me think that perhaps the MPP leadership or some parts of the party will take stock and recognize that the large majority they've won is a real opportunity to reform the party, reform politics and set Mongolia on a different path.

Interpreting the Election Result

In that process, it is important to recall that the general sense around the June Ikh Khural election was that the MPP won its large majority be default, simply because it was not the DP, and because smaller parties and independents had been pushed aside by changes in the election law. The election should thus not be misinterpreted as a strong mandate for the MPP to do as they please.

Resisting (Economic) Pressures

As the MPP has taken over government positions, it has become clear how bad the state of public finance really is. The crushing debt that has resulted from the wasteful spending of the Chinggis Bond and thus the mortgaging of Mongolia's financial future, leaves the new government very little manoeuvring  room for new policies and initiatives.

Yet, given the extent to which Mongolian politics is patronage politics where supporters expect to be compensated for their contributions with the spoils that go to the victors, it is very likely that many individuals and companies are knocking on the door of party chair and Ikh Khural chairman M Enkhbold to secure appointments. The recording of Enkhbold discussing the cost of particular posts that was leaked just before the election suggests that appointments potentially represent two "opportunities": a) to reward supporters, and b) for sale. It should be noted that the MPP government is no different from previous DP or MP(R)P governments in this regard, yet, patronage is not a principle that is likely to yield good outcomes for the country and for Mongolians.

Ideally, the new MPP government would thus resist the urge to make money through appointments or in positions and focus on how to re-build the Mongolian economy or at least how to bridge the time until revenue streams from mining projects rev up without going further into debt. Such a turn away from political office as a money-making opportunity would have to come through strong leadership from the very centre of the MPP.

Policy Platform

Like the DP, the MPP would make a contribution towards its own long-term viability, toward the viability of Mongolian democracy, and toward sustainable development, by developing more of a policy platform for the party.

The massive majority the MPP commands in parliament offers the opportunity to engage in more fundamental policy analysis and development than the more day-to-day work of a tight majority or coalition government. In the same ideal world where the MPP resists the money-making urge, it also sets aside party resources, at least for the period after the presidential election and perhaps 18 months out from the 2020 election to develop policy-making capacity.

The MPP under M Enkhbold

Currently, from the outside, it seems like party leader M Enkhbold is very firmly in charge of the MPP and of the government. No alternative explanation has emerged for his decision to take the Ikh Khural chairmanship rather than becoming PM, other than his plan to run for president next year. In the meantime, no actions of the government so far suggest that Enkhbold is not pulling the strings in the background. Most of the appointments are identifiably close to him and from his "City" faction. Barring unforeseen developments, that would lead to the assumption that he would use his position as party chair to secure the candidacy for president next year. This has also been the pattern in previous presidents, i.e. they've kept a fairly close reign of the party even though they nominally relinquish their party position and even membership when they are nominated as a candidate for president.

Again from the outside, Enkhbold is not very easy to figure out. He strikes me as a politician who is somewhat similar to former (DP) prime minister N Altankhuyag. Neither of them are riveting speakers or particularly charismatic.

I attended a campaign rally in the final days of the 2012 campaign where Enkhbold spoke, then still a "regular" candidate from Tov.

He was wooden in his presentation and there was nothing I saw to suggest that he connected with the audience in any particular way or inspired the party faithful.

On the other hand, like Altankhuyag, he seems to manage his party well, or certainly his faction. He is thus politically skilled. There are no particular policy agendas that he has associated himself with or distinguished himself by. Substantively, it is thus very difficult to expect anything concrete from his leadership, and his likely presidency would be similarly unclear. Note the parallel with Altankhuyag in this regard. Is there a positive policy or political decision that you can recall from Altankhuyag's primeministership?

Enkhbold's skills as a political operative raise some concerns over the extent to which he will be governing for the good of the people (especially in the more lofty role of president) as opposed to the good of his party or of himself. It's obviously early to tell, but he has not given off any indications that he is reaching for bigger goals, though his government so far is limited by budget woes in what it might pursue.

Internal Opposition

The MPP election victory was such that there is essentially no opposition to its government. That is terrific, as it offers a real opportunity to consider policies carefully (see above) and to enact them strategically, but it is also dangerous as the usual checks-and-balances on democratic government are somewhat suspended under such a majority.

It becomes an important task for a ruling majority to give an opportunity to internal voices of (substantive) opposition, as well as listening to external criticism. This is especially true in a situation like the current MPP government where there is a strong sense that it won the election on the basis of an anyone-but… choice, rather than on the strength of its platform.

The MPP is much less likely (than the DP) to break out in factional disputes, so internal opposition will remain invisble. But, the presidential election in 2017 will be an important moment for the party. If Enkhbold is the official candidate of the MPP as I expect, he would relinquish the party chair. A number of MPP leaders who have been somewhat sidelined at the moment, including former president N Bagabandi, and former prime ministers S Bayar, and Su Batbold, may well try to regain some power within the MPP at that point by succeeding Enkbold as party chair. By contrast, Enkhbold will certainly seek to install a party chair from his own faction who may then replace J Erdenebat as prime minister as well. Should Enkhbold lose the presidential election after having been nominated, he would presumably not return as party chair.

Note that in this discussion of party politics, I have not mentioned the role of a younger generation of MPP leaders. Isn't it time that the 1970s and 1980s cohorts step up to leadership position so that the MPP can avoid some of the leadership paralysis the DP has been suffering from?

Back to that Rosy Future…

But, those are only the strategic/factional/political aspects of an internal opposition.

To imagine some kind of rosy future, a political turn toward policy-making seems essential as is some kind of movement (from within or from the outside) against corruption.

That rosy future under M Enkhbold and the MPP is just that so far, a rosy imagined scenario. The coming year leading up to the presidential election will offer many challenges but will also begin to give observers (and Mongolians) a sense of what kind of government the MPP government will be.

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EBRD First Vice President in Mongolia to mark 10 years of investment

Phil Bennett will visit Ulaanbaatar to meet new government and businesses, discuss strategy

September 23 (EBRD) The First Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Phil Bennett, will visit Mongolia to meet with the new government and the business community, and to mark the Bank's 10th anniversary of investing in the country.

Mr Bennett will be in Ulaanbaatar from 26-28 September, where he will discuss the Bank's upcoming strategy for investing in the country, the Bank's current work and the pipeline of potential projects.

Mr Bennett, who is in charge of the EBRD's banking operations, will meet the newly elected government to discuss the directions of future EBRD work in Mongolia. Since the start of its operations in 2006, the EBRD has invested €1.4 billion in the country, almost entirely in private sector development. The Bank is currently considering broadening its scope of investment to the municipal and transport infrastructure sectors.

"In these short 10 years, the EBRD has become the largest institutional investor in Mongolia. From mining and microfinance to green energy, we have made a mark in many sectors. I am looking forward to new possibilities and partnerships as Mongolia is opening up again to investment and business," said Mr Bennett.

On Tuesday 27 September, the EBRD will gather its partners, clients and representatives of business and diplomatic communities to celebrate both the 25th anniversary of the EBRD and the 10th anniversary of its operations in Mongolia.

During his visit, Mr Bennett is also expected to sign the EBRD's second wind farm project in the country, Tsetsii. The wind farm will be co-financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and built by a joint venture between Mongolia's Newcom and Japan's SoftBank.

This will be Mr Bennett's second visit to Mongolia as the EBRD's First Vice President. He also visited the country a number of times before joining the Bank.

The EBRD's first step in Mongolia was the arrival of the Advice for Small Business (ASB) team in 2001, five years ahead of banking operations. With donor support, ASB have provided business advice to 500 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to date.

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Mongolians warming up to ATMs

ULAANBAATAR, September 24 (Nikkei Asian Review) -- As more Mongolians begin to settle in urban areas and open bank accounts, Japan-made ATMs are increasing their market share.

Mongolia's Khan Bank, the nation's largest commercial bank, has installed 486 ATMs made by Hitachi-Omron Terminal Solutions and will add 80 more by the end of 2016.

In recent years, more of the country's nomadic population has been pitching their yurts, called ger, around the capital.

Nomads used to make due with whatever cash they had on hand. But those who are settling in around the capital are opening bank accounts and taking out loans. This shift has created some congestion inside banks.

Until now, cash dispensers were relied on to handle some of the customer load. Clients who wanted to make deposits, though, had to use teller windows.

To ease congestion, Khan Bank last year began introducing Hitachi-Omron ATMs that can dispense cash and accept it as well. The bank now has 762 ATMs in all.

Khan Bank drew on a financing deal from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation to buy the Hitachi-Omron ATMs. It did not disclose the amount invested in the project.

There are 1,000 to 1,500 CDs and ATMs across Mongolia. According to Khan, the planned addition of Hitachi-Omron ATMs will bring the bank's total number of ATMs to 842, which accounts for more than 60% of all ATMs in the country.

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Traverse City nurse launches boot company

Woolaboots feature Mongolian felt, U.S. soles

TRAVERSE CITY, September 24 (Traverse City Record Eagle) — Caroline Kulczyk's new business venture trudged out of a book given her by a friend.

Kulczyk read "The Russian Concubine," a novel by Kate Furnivall, about five years ago. She wasn't terribly impressed by the book, but she became curious about footwear that was mentioned repeatedly.

"Every other page, someone was pulling on their Valenki boots," said Kulczyk.

Valenki boots are made of felt and are a symbol of traditional rustic Russian clothing style. Kulczyk researched the boots and discovered that they mold to the wearer's feet to become quite comfortable, and they wear well. Wool felt is an excellent insulator, she said, but is not waterproof, so Russians wear rubber galoshes over their Valenki boots if conditions are wet. The boots have no seams and are made by workers beating the felt around a form until it is the right shape.

Kulczyk located a traditional maker of the boots, named Boris, in Russia and ordered a pair. She liked them. She ordered some more in different decorative patterns. She didn't like the need for rubber overshoes, so she connected with a U.S. sole manufacturer.

"I called Vibram and told them what I was doing," said Kulczyk.

She had worked for years in customer service at Cone Drive, but was taking nursing classes at the time. She now works as a nurse at Munson Medical Center. But the boots fascinated her, and she thought they would sell well in the U.S. in colors and patterns she specified and with sewn-on soles, so in her spare time she began constructing a business she named Woolaboots.

"I've not seen anything like these in the states," she said.

She began designing a business around the Russian boots with American soles. It turned out Boris was unable to supply product in commercial quantities.

"At that point I started to look at Mongolia," said Kulczyk.

She found an alternative supplier, but samples didn't meet her quality standards. She settled on a different company in Mongolia that satisfies her quality demands, can manufacture product in quantity and ensures that the sheep used to grow the wool are treated kindly.

She just launched a locally designed website, She preordered a stock of boots that now are in Traverse City. A pair sells for $168 and includes felt insoles that can be used to fine-tune a custom fit.

"I pay fair price in Mongolia" for the boots, said Kulczyk.

She currently sells only boots for women.

"I wanted to narrow my scope as a new business," she said.

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'Ulaanbaatar Autumn' Festival to Be Held on September 30

September 26 ( 'Ulaanbaatar Autumn' is the name of an event to be held on Ulaanbaatar's Sukhbaatar Square on 30th of September. The event is being organised by the UB city administration at the initiative of Mayor Batbold.

Famous bands such as 'Nikiton' and 'Camerton' will perform at the event, which will be produced by the famous singer D.Bold. 'Ulaanbaatar Autumn' aims to support traders and retailers. On this day, local companies will sell drinks and hot food on Sukhbaatar square.

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Ts.Elbegdorj and Ban Ki-moon discusses enhancing Mongolia's role on international arena

September 23 ( The Mongolian President and the UN Secretary General had an official meeting on September 22. Mr Ban Ki-moon extended gratitude and expressed high recognition of Mongolia's constant commitment and dedication to the UN-organized actions for peace and universal prosperity.

He also congratulated Mongolia for realizing the UN Sustainable Development Goals at home and for ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Moreover, the UN leader extended thanks to the people of Mongolia for the continuing contributions to the UN Peacekeeping actions.

The President, Mr Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj underlined that Mongolia takes its responsibility and commitment seriously to the multilateral dialogues and collective discussion for finding solutions for the global issue, and implementations of the SDGs, the Paris Agreement and other international documents, and pledged further dedication and efforts on these matters.

The sides continued their meeting by discussion about the current state and improvement of Mongolia's involvement in the UN-oriented and international cooperation, and some urgent global issues.

After this, the Mongolian President legged the Permanent Representatives Office of Mongolia to the UN and met with representatives of Mongolian nationals living in New York.

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Ts.Elbegdorj and Ban Ki-moon discusses enhancing Mongolia's role on international arenaMontsame, September 23


President Of Mongolia Pays State Visit To Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, September 23 (CBS) — City Hall has rolled out the red carpet for the president of Mongolia.

President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj visited City Council Chambers, talking about his commitment to the protection of Mongolia's democracy.

"Every beat of heart has the sounds of freedom."

Governor Wolf calls President Elbegdorj a "remarkable leader" who has enhanced Mongolia's status on the world stage, since it went through its own democratic revolution in 1990.

"You're situated right between Russia and China, and we all know that must be a real challenge."

Mongolia is a former Soviet satellite that had been under communist rule for decades, but the Harvard educated 53-year-old president says his vast, rugged country made a peaceful transition to democracy.

"Without shedding a single drop of blood."

His visit came at the invitation of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which will tour that country as part of its 2017 Asia Tour.

"I'm really happy to call all of you friends of Mongolia. Let's work together."

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President visits birthplace of Declaration of IndependenceMontsame, September 26


President of Mongolia reflects on leading democratic protests at Perry World House

September 24 (The Daily Pennsylvanian) President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj of Mongolia gave a public lecture at Penn on Friday as part of a day-long visit to Philadelphia. The event was organized by the American Center for Mongolian Studies, whose United States operations are housed at Penn's Center for East Asian Studies, in conjunction with the Perry World House.

Besides honoring Elbegdorj's Philadelphia visit, the event showcased Penn programs that have advanced Mongolian studies in the U.S. ACMS recently organized a program for eight Penn students to study and compare urban planning and development in Beijing and Ulaanbaatar. In 2011, a team of students and faculty from Penn's biology department traveled to Mongolia to study the effects of climate change on the country's grasslands.

Popularly called Mongolia's "Golden Sparrow of Democracy," Elbegdorj spoke about his experiences leading popular democratic protests that brought an end to Soviet-style communist dictatorship in Mongolia in 1990.

"Mongols say that it's better to live by your own choice — no matter how bitter — than by others' rules — no matter how sweet they are," Elbegdorj said.

The youngest of eight sons in a nomadic herding family, Elbegdorj studied journalism at a Soviet military academy in Ukraine, where he had observed the introduction of free speech and open elections under the Soviet policy of glasnost ("openness"). After graduating in 1988, Elbegdorj returned home and began joining youth groups who advocated similar reforms in Mongolia.

On December 10, 1989, Elbegdorj moderated an unauthorized pro-democracy street gathering in the capital. That demonstration spawned more pro-democracy rallies, protests and several hunger strikes throughout the country.

Back then, speaking out against the communist regime was dangerous — Elbegdorj recalled receiving jail threats and his employer had already threatened to fire him if he continued to express anticommunist opinions, he said.

But the movement continued, and four months later, the communist government finally gave in. Elbegdorj believes that Mongolia's transition to democracy was successful — and permanent — because it had overwhelming support from the people.

"If you feel the challenges together with your people, the answers will come from that," Elbegdorj said.

He has since served two terms as Mongolia's prime minister and earned graduate degrees from the University of Colorado Boulder and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Since winning the presidency in 2009, Elbegdorj has pursued reforms in anticorruption, environmental protection, women's rights, the rule of law and economic liberalization.

He continues to look towards other countries to build political, social and cultural ties. Elbegdorj originally came to Philadelphia at the invitation of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which is scheduled to perform in Ulaanbaatar as part of its 2017 tour of Asia. He said he had always been eager to see the "birthplace of liberty and independence," as he described Philadelphia.

Although Mongolia still faces political and economic challenges, Elbegdorj believes that its democracy remains intact because it allows disgruntled citizens to voice their grievances — even if they are directed at him. National legislation, introduced by Elbegdorj, explicitly prevents media outlets from coming under government control.

For him, actively improving and protecting Mongolia's young democracy will always be a priority. Getting rid of the old system of dictatorship, he says, was the easy part. To truly protect democracy, every generation must be continually taught to appreciate an open political mindset.

"Freedom is like a child, it has to be nurtured every day," Elbegdorj said.

That was probably idea behind a 2013 speech he gave in North Korea, where he told a group of students at Kim Il-Sung University, named after the founder of North Korea's authoritarian regime, that "no tyranny lasts forever."

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President Elbegdorj returns to Mongolia

September 26 ( Ts.Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia returned to Ulaanbaatar today (26th of September), after having made a successful visit to Cuba and participated in the 71th meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York.

President Elbegdorj addressed General Assembly on 20th of September. He also officially delivered Mongolia's ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change to Mr Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations.  

In Philadelphia, he attended a concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra, and gave a lecture at the American Center for Mongolian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

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President returns homeMontsame, September 26


Mongolian Armed Forces, U.S. Marines host senior military leader's seminar during NOLES

September 23 (DVIDS) After 12 days of instruction and hands-on training, the Non-Lethal Weapons Executive Seminar (NOLES) 2016 came to an end with the closing ceremony during the leadership seminar, Sept. 23, 2016.

Service members from the Mongolian Armed Forces, Mongolian National Police Department and U.S. Marines with 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force, as well as representatives from 18 nations across the Indo-Asia-Pacific, participated in NOLES. 

This year marked the 15th iteration of the exercise. NOLES is a regularly scheduled U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific field training exercise and leadership seminar hosted annually by various nations. NOLES 2016 consisted of a field training exercise, or FTX, from Sept. 12-21 and a three-day leadership seminar from Sept. 21-23. The exercise promotes awareness and effective use of non-lethal weapons to maintain order during civil unrest.

During the FTX, service members learned different tactics consisting of Taser and oleoresin capsicum exposure, mechanical advantage control holds techniques, non-lethal munitions and live fire and riot-control techniques. 

"The FTX is a bilateral piece of NOLES, where we exchange tactics, techniques and procedures with the host nation [Mongolia]," said Larry Brown, non-lethal weapons liaison officer, Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate from Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. 

During the seminar portion, senior leaders from various nations participated in several briefs consisting of human rights laws, cultural awareness, non-lethal technology and two practice scenarios. During the scenarios, leaders formed groups where they applied non-lethal tactics and weapons to approach different situations. 

"During the seminar, we educate and inform [leadership] with the help of the FTX to demonstrate capabilities and conduct briefings that educate on legal aspects and media incorporation, and conclude [NOLES] with scenarios on how they can incorporate non-lethal weapons," Brown said. "You could see the active participation in the scenarios. I think that everybody gets a lot out of it when they learn from their partners from other countries." 

Next year's NOLES will take place in the country of Sri Lanka. Brown explained it will probably include a medical capability portion as well asa Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate demonstration of new technology and capabilities within the non-lethal spectrum.

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Foreign Minister meets UN Special Envoy for Road Safety

Ulaanbaatar, September 23 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ts.Munkh-Orgil had a meeting with the UN Special Envoy for Road Safety, Mr Jean Todt at the UN Headquarters on September 21. The FM handed over to Mr Todt a letter from the Mongolian Association of Traffic Safety.

The Minister highlighted the number of traffic accidents have been increasing as the number of vehicles rises rapidly in Mongolia. The dignitaries exchanged opinions on the vitality of raising public alertness of traffic accidents and training on traffic regulations for the drivers and pedestrians.

Minister Ts.Munkh-Orgil expressed an interest in cooperating with the UN Road Safety Fund and the FIA (International Automobile Federation) Foundation.

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Mongolian and Chinese FMs hold talks in New York

Ulaanbaatar, September 23 (MONTSAME) On the sidelines of his attendance to the 71st session of UNGA, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ts.Munkh-Orgil has met his counterpart from the People's Republic of China Wang Yi. They reviewed the results of the official visit of the Prime Minister of the China's State Council Li Keqiang to Mongolia, which took place in July.

They applauded the visit's outcome noting that the delivery of follow-up actions of the visit is essential. The dignitaries also shared views on the bilateral visits to come round in the near future and the Mongolia-China-Russia tri-partite meetings.

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Senior CPC official to visit Mongolia, Greece, Hungary

September 26 (Xinhua) Senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official Liu Yunshan will pay official good-will visits to Mongolia, Greece and Hungary from Oct. 1 to 7, according to the International Department of the CPC Central Committee on Monday.

Liu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, is invited by Chairman of the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) Miyegombo Enkhbold, also chairman of the State Great Hural, Mongolia's parliament; the Greek government; and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, also president of FIDESZ-Hungarian Civic Alliance.

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Ts.Munkh-Orgil and Sergey Lavrov meet in NY

Ulaanbaatar, September 23 (MONTSAME) On the sidelines of the 71st session of UNGA, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ts.Munkh-Orgil met Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs  Sergey Lavrov on September 22. The dignitaries emphasized the commemoration of the 95th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Mongolia and Russia.

The sides underlined the significance of the Medium Term Program for implementation the Strategic Partnership, established during the visit of S.Lavrov to Mongolia in April, decided to forward the development of detailed plan of implementation in an approximate time.

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Mongolia chairs LLDCs Foreign Ministerial Meeting

Ulaanbaatar, September 23 (MONTSAME) On September 22, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ts.Munkh-Orgil chaired the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDC) in the margin of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.

At this meeting of LLDCs on the "Coordination of implementations of SDGs 2030 and the Vienna Programme of Action", the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), Mr Gyan Chandra Acharya, the UN Development Programme Administrator, Ms Helen Clark and the Under-Secretary-General, Mr Wu Hongbo gave updates on the UN policies and further actions addressing the challenges facing the LLDCs.

The Mongolian FM highlighted in his speech the vitality of coordinating the Vienna Programme of Actions for Landlocked Developing Countries with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, and presented the Mongolian government's policies and measures taken in frames of these programmes.

Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Bhutan, Zimbabwe, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malawi, Tajikistan and Paraguay took part in this meeting and shared their views on the common challenges and ways of cooperation.

Mongolia has been elected the vice chair of the LLDCs meeting for this September.

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FM Munkh-Orgil wishes UN support for Int'l Think Tank for LLDCs

Ulaanbaatar, September 26 (MONTSAME) Attending the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ts.Munkh-Orgil met the President of this session, Mr Peter Thomson on September 23.

Diplomat Peter Thomson has been serving as the Ambassador of Fiji to UN and chair of G77 (Seventy-seven developing countries), as well as holding other high-ranking positions in UN.

On the next day, Mr Ts.Munkh-Orgil held a meeting with Mr Gyan Chandra Acharya, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

The Foreign Minister of Mongolia extended gratitude to the UN Office of the High Representative for the support in organizing the National Seminar on Implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action in Ulaanbaatar earlier this year. He briefed the Under-Secretary -General on the measures being taken for the complete enactment of the Multilateral Agreement on the Establishment of the International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries. FM Ts.Munkh-Orgil asked Mr Acharya to show all possible support for this action, which is of vital importance to the Mongolian Government.

Mr Acharya underlined the significance of the think tank in implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action for the Landlocked Developing Countries.

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Foreign Minister discusses sustainable development of LLDCs during UN General AssemblyUB Post, September 26


Foreign Minister to visit Japan and South Korea, September 27-30

September 26 ( Ts.Munkh-Orgil, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia will pay an official visit to Japan and South Korea from 27th to 30th of September. He will discuss increasing bilateral cooperation between two countries in the areas of investment, economics, culture and education as well as regional affairs as a part of "Strategic Partnership" with Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan as well as 'Comprehensive Partnership' with his South Korean counterpart,  Yun Byung-se.

While Mongolia is located in the northeast region of East Asia, wedged between Russia and China, its "third neighbour" foreign policy allows Ulaanbaatar to boost bilateral and multilateral diplomatic relations with countries around the world.

Japan has become an important "third neighbour" to Mongolia. Increasing Chinese influence in the region has forced Japan to seek new levels of partnerships and economic alliances, thus opening the door for Mongolia and Japan to strengthen their ties. Seoul also has extremely close economic ties with Ulaanbaatar with many Mongolians working in the country.

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Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit Japan and South KoreaMontsame, September 26


UAE hopes for economic collaboration with Mongolia

September 26 (UB Post) Prime Minister J.Erdenebat received His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a son and counselor to the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to discuss relations and economic cooperation between the two countries.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister emphasized that the two countries have focused on boosting relations and cooperation, and that high-level visits and dialogues between the two countries have increased. He also noted that the 13 million USD provided as non-refundable aid from the Government of the UAE for the Taishir Hydropower Plant was of great importance to developing trade and economic cooperation.

Sheikh Sultan Al Nahyan stressed that the opening of the new embassy of the UAE at the beginning of this year was very important to strengthening the ties between the two countries, and that there is interest in collaborating with Mongolia in tourism and launching a direct flight between Dubai and Ulaanbaatar. He also said that there is interest in sending a trade task force to Mongolia to study possible areas for economic cooperation. At the end of their meeting, the Sheikh invited the PM to pay an official visit to the UAE at his convenience.

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Mongolia-North Korea Intergovernmental commission to meet next year

Ulaanbaatar, September 23 (MONTSAME) Foreign Minister Ts.Munkh-Orgil has met with the North Korean FM Ri Yong-ho at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA.

While pledging to maintain the long-standing friendship and ties with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Mongolian FM affirmed Mongolia's position for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Northeast Asian region and for diplomatic approaches in solving disputes.

The dignitaries further discussed about organizing the 10th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Consultative Commission in Ulaanbaatar next year.

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Health, Education

PMI Mongolia Chapter Monthly Meeting, September 28

September 26 (UB Post) PMI Mongolia Chapter NGO will host its monthly meeting at the Blue Sky Hotel and Tower on September 28. Senior Director at KPMG Markus Walter will be the guest speaker of the event. He will present a lecture titled "The 'Rock'n Roll' of Project Portfolio Management".

Markus will draw on his 20-year international and multicultural experience working on more than 100 IT transformation programs/ projects and providing consultancy and professional services across Asia, Europe, America and the Middle East.


Where: The Blue Sky Hotel and Tower

When: September 28, 6:30 p.m.

Admission: Free

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3rd Annual "Brain Forum" Held in Ulaanbaatar

September 26 ( Entitled the 'Multidisciplinary Brain Science Forum-2016', the 3rd international conference has been held at the Government House of Mongolia. The event was organised by Mongolian Neuroscience Society and was under the auspices of President of Mongolia. International academics from the fields of brain research and neuroscience made presentations.

Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. The International Brain Research Organization was founded in 1961 and Mongolian Neuroscience Society established in 2014.

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Undergraduate researcher mines for answers in Mongolia

Environmental science major examines industry's impact on nomadic farmers

SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 | By Emma Ogg '17 (Clark University) Clark University junior Odgerel Chintulga took her LEEP project back home this summer. The native of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, conducted research on the mining industry's impact on the nomadic people of Khanbogd.

Chintulga (pictured), who majors in environmental science and minors in economics, says her interest in the subject was sparked by a course emphasizing economic and environmental values; it was taught by Christos Makriyannis of Clark's Economics Department.

Because very little research takes place in Mongolia, it can be difficult to find financial support, Chintulga says. Her LEEP fellowship gave her the necessary resources to pursue her work. "When I heard about LEEP's funding, I said, 'I really want to do something for my country. This is an opportunity that doesn't come often.' "

Mining of coal, copper and gold is a massive industry in Mongolia. The Mongolia Mining Project Report of 2011 noted that the Oyu Tolgoi mine, the focus of Chintulga's research, has the potential to boost the national economy by a third. However, it is also the subject of profit-sharing disputes.

"The government is involved to gain money from the mining industries," she says. "They're thinking about the short-term incomes but not about the long-term environmental damage and how it is going to affect us. It's going to economically cost Mongolia, too."

Chintulga's research consisted of three stages. First she collected data about the Oyu Tolgoi mine's water usage. She then interviewed local herders and nomadic people on how mining, development and Westernization affect their culture and living circumstances.

Now she is back on campus finishing the last piece of her research: calculating the environmental damage caused by mining and placing an economical value on it. She expects to compile her research, including the final data analysis, and publish it in an article.

Chintulga says interviewing the families let her hear first-hand how people are struggling in the shadow of the mining companies.

"Herding is a main source of income for nomadic families, but the mining takes up such a huge space. [The companies] dig holes all around the area, and they don't close them when they're done," she says.

For the herders, this negligence has proved costly: The families estimate a hundred sheep and horses die per year from falling into the open holes.

"The mining companies don't compensate the families for that. They ignore them," Chintulga says. "Those people don't have the higher level of education needed to take action against this injustice."

The herders are told to complain to local politicians and to write letters, but often there is no response, she says. Those who protest are met with aggressive or threatening reprisals. Because the issues are not covered by the media, abuses are left unexposed.

Chintulga's work has given a voice to these families.

"In high school I became really passionate about environmental justice in Mongolia," she says, "and that was one of the reasons I decided to come to Clark — to get empowered."

Link to article


Leaders Advancing Democracy (LEAD)-Mongolia

September 23 (UB Post) World Learning Launches Project in Support of Mongolia's Young, Emerging Leaders

World Learning officially launch its new Leaders Advancing Democracy (LEAD)-Mongolia Project in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). LEAD-Mongolia is introduced to support U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia Jennifer Zimdahl Galt's initiative to support the country's next generation of democratic leaders. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry previously announced this program during his visit to Mongolia on June 5, 2016 as he encouraged young Mongolian leaders to use their voice to further their country's democratic efforts.

The launch event took place on September 21, 2016 in Ulaanbaatar to celebrate the program's inauguration and encourage interested emerging leaders to apply.

"We're honored to partner with USAID on this important initiative," says World Learning President, Carol Jenkins. "Our project creates a partnership whereby Mongolia's best and brightest emerging leaders are given a unique opportunity to breathe life into their own vision of positive change. This is accomplished through a variety of leadership programs, international exchanges, and civic education activities." Carol Jenkins traveled from Washington, DC to attend the event and make remarks alongside U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia Jennifer Zimdahl Galt.

Over the next two years, LEAD-Mongolia will work with 90 emerging leaders from a variety of sectors, connect Mongolian emerging leaders with counterparts in the region, and develop a civic education curriculum for teachers at the high-school level. World Learning is working together with non-profit partners International Republican Institute (IRI) and Center for Citizenship Education (CCE) to achieve these goals.

"We want emerging leaders aged 25 to 40 with enthusiasm and a unique vision for positive change," explains LEAD Project Director, Adam LeClair. "We're keen to support the next generation of change agents whose leadership will combat indifference and forge a common vision for the successful democratic trajectory of their country. We also encourage emerging leaders from all paths of life to apply. That's is why we've spoken to organizations representing diverse populations and interests including youth groups, policy advocates, gender-focused groups, disabled persons organizations, LGBTI rights groups, and others."

World Learning is an international non-profit organization working to promote leadership, empower people and strengthen institutions in over 75 countries through education, development, and exchange programs. It has been active in Mongolia since 2000 through its Experiment in International Living, SIT Study Abroad programs, and international exchanges.

CONTACT: Please direct all press-related inquires to the World Learning Mongolia office at +976 7701 5161 ex 3002 or For more information about World Learning programs worldwide please refer to our website

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Mongolia's young people represent opportunities to diversify and grow sustainably

September 23 (UB Post) The UB Post interviewed UNDP Resident Representative Beate Trankmann about sustainable development and mining issues in Mongolia.

In your view, can Mongolia stick to the UN Development Goals when it comes to the protection of the environment?

As an early adopter of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Mongolia has shown a strong commitment to ending poverty, improving social equality and protecting its diverse and rich environment. In its own version of the SDGs – the Mongolia 2030 Sustainable Development Vision – Mongolia put these ambitious global goals into a local context, including preserving the country's ecological balance while continuing to develop the economy and raise living standards for all.

In June 2014, the State Great Khural (Parliament) had already approved Mongolia's Green Development Policy, which aims to ensure that green development becomes one of the country's fundamental goals. This was backed up by an action plan for the implementation of Green Development Policy approved by the government in January 2016, which outlines measures to support amongst other things the creation of green jobs and ecological infrastructure, as well as strengthening waste management systems and facilities.  Mongolia was also the first country to join PAGE (the UN Partnership for Action on Green Economy) in 2013 and is reframing its economic policies around sustainability and green growth. Hence, at the policy and planning level, Mongolia is certainly heading in the right direction. In the long-term, thanks to its vast mineral wealth, Mongolia's macroeconomic prospects look promising. However, in the short-term and in the face of the current economic down-turn and tightening fiscal space, the challenge will be translating this green development vision into immediate steps, budget allocations and investments that can stimulate much needed growth without compromising on environmental protection and sustainability. Investing into environmental capital now will be critical in this regard.

Key environmental challenges to overcome include rangeland degradation, desertification, melting glaciers and urban air pollution. Mongolia's capital has one of the world's worst winter air pollution. Annual particulate matter (PM 2.5) of air pollution averages nearly 70 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) in Ulaanbaatar, more than double the World Health Organization's safe limit. This has contributed to a rise in pneumonia, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses. With 87 percent of this pollution coming from household stoves, further efforts are needed by all stakeholders to ensure alternative forms of cost-effective heating to families in ger districts. Clean burning stoves have helped to reduce the problem in recent years – such initiatives towards cleaner energy consumption in cities should be expanded further. It is however clear that reducing air pollution in UB and decreasing Mongolia's comparatively high per capita carbon footprint will require interventions on multiple fronts. These include moving out of fossil fuel based forms of energy generation wherever possible and increasing the percentage of renewable sources of energy in the energy mix by, for example, incentivizing investments into green energy, as well as gradually reducing coal subsidies and changing consumer behavior through pricing measures. It also entails enhancing the energy efficiency of buildings and limiting heat loss in winter in addition to strengthening public transport systems as a viable alternative to the ever increasing fleet of private vehicles, which also constitute a source of pollution and emissions.

The government and the UN recently signed the UN Development Assistant Framework for 2017-2021, which includes promoting the sustainable management of natural resources as a key focus area. Growth strategies, especially in Mongolia's mining, energy and agricultural sectors, may need to be adjusted so that environmental and climate change objectives can be reached in parallel with meeting the economic objectives. We are optimistic that with careful management and the right choices these ambitious objectives can be reached, and the UN stands ready to support Mongolia in achieving that.

Knowing that mineral commodities represent about 80 percent of Mongolia's exports, what other products from a greener economy could Mongolia start commercializing?

Link to article


Swiss help for a Mongolian treasure

By Anita Fahrni, Swiss Program for Language Instruction and Teacher Training

...No country alone can guarantee the protection of its biodiversity. Real protection requires international conventions which set rules for protection and use of nature, which all countries agree to respect...

September 23 (UB Post) Reinhard Schnidrig works for the Swiss government in the Ministry of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication, where he heads the section on wild animals and forest biodiversity. A zoologist by training, he has many years of experience working internationally to establish agreements dealing with the protection of the environment. As president of the International Takhi Group he is involved in Mongolia's reintroduction of the wild horse in Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area (SPA).

Mr. Schnidrig, you work for the Swiss Federal Government in wildlife management and biodiversity in forests. Can you tell us exactly what your work involves?

I am responsible for the implementation of laws involving the protection of wild animals and their environment, as well as the sustainable use of their population. This includes monitoring the hunting in our country. In addition, I head the national program for the establishment of forest preserves.

You are also active in international conservation organizations, speaking frequently at conferences. What do these organizations do and why is that networking important?

As you know, wild animals do not keep within national boundaries. Especially larger mammals and birds wander over large distances, thereby crossing from one country to another. Therefore, no country alone can guarantee the protection of its biodiversity. Real protection requires international conventions which set rules for protection and use of nature, which all countries agree to respect.

Switzerland has always been a pioneer in the development of international agreements for the protection of nature. One example of my country's efforts is the Bernese Convention for the Protection of European Species and Habitats. Another is the Ramsar Convention for the Protection of Water Birds and Wetlands. Switzerland is also co-founder of international networks of experts and conservationists, for example, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

In the framework of my job for the federal government, I represent Switzerland in several of these groups.

In the international protection of birds Switzerland provides special support to African countries. In the protection of mammals we support Central Asian countries, including Mongolia. This is not your first trip to Mongolia. When and why did you become involved in work here, more specifically in connection with the International Takhi Group (ITG)? I am visiting and traveling in this spectacularly beautiful country for the fifth time. Even as a child I was fascinated by horses, and on my many trips to distant countries the nomadic culture has always had a special appeal for me. Thus, as a land of horses and nomads, Mongolia is the perfect destination for me.

During my university training as a zoologist, I studied in particular the social behavior of wild equids, especially of Takhis and of the African wild ass. At home, in Switzerland, I have two horses.

Two years ago I was elected president of the International Takhi Group.

The ITG has reintroduced the Takhi to Great Gobi B SPA. Everyone in Ulaanbaatar knows about Khustain Nuruu National Park, as it is close to the capital. How is Takhintal different? Why should one visit?

Takhintal is far away from cities, south of the Mongolian Altai mountains, on the edge of the Dzungarian Gobi. In that region the Mongolian wild horse, the Takhi, the principal form of the domestic horse, survived the longest. The last wild horses were observed in Takhintal as late as 1968. The name says it all. Even though Great Gobi B National Park SPA is difficult to get to, on arrival, one is rewarded with a truly wild scenery of magnificent mountains and steppes, barely touched by man. Unlike some other SPAs, Great Gobi B is still very strictly protected and wonderful to experience.

The first Takhis to be reintroduced to Takhintal arrived in 1992. Since then almost a dozen transports have been made. The transportation of wild horses, not used to handling by humans, is a complex undertaking.

Even after decades of breeding in European zoos, the Takhi have remained wild animals. They don't allow themselves to be haltered or loaded into crates. A great deal of experience is needed to coax these animals into narrow crates in which they can hardly move. This tightness is necessary to avoid injury on the long trip by plane and truck. To do this transport successfully takes people who understand horses. Until now, we have transported 100 Takhis from Europe and have never lost one during transport.

There are now over 170 Takhi in Takhintal. Around 40 foals were born this year. Is it still necessary to increase that number?

Programs which reintroduce animals are long-term undertakings. Setbacks are always possible, as we experienced in the hard winter of 2009-2010, when the dzud reduced the Takhi population from about 150 to about 70 horses. Once the structures necessary for the transport of wild horses from Europe to Mongolia have been built up, they should not be dismantled irresponsibly, before the resettled population has reached the size necessary for independent survival.

Actually, if one takes into consideration only the number of foals born, we will soon be at the level at which no more transfers will be necessary. However, the simple number of animals is not the only basis for a stop of the transport. It takes in additional analysis of the genetic diversity of those animals in the wild which really do reproduce. We want to begin such a study soon. And, finally, the Dzungarian Gobi has space enough for many hundred, even thousands of wild horses. There can hardly be too many!

The ranger camp in Takhintal is an ideal place to visit for several days, to relax and enjoy the magnificent Gobi, its flowers, mountains, majestic views, and, of course, to see the truly wild horses roaming completely free in the habitat that was theirs many years ago. Is that also your impression?

Oh, yes! Whoever loves archaic nature, formed by dryness and cold winters, and whoever can live without the comforts of the city will be happy in Takhintal. The mountains and steppes of southwestern Mongolia have so much more to offer than just the Takhi. Khulans and gazelles gallop over the plains. If one is lucky, in the mountains one can meet argali sheep and snow leopards. Both the flora and the birdlife in the steppes are varied and rich. Especially exciting is watching the animals at the watering holes, as life collects where there is water.

You have come to Mongolia on a working visit. Can you tell us the purpose of your stay?

The International Takhi Group works very closely with the national institutions of the Mongolian government. In addition, we have here in UB an ITG office, and finance much of the work of the park management of the Great Gobi B SPA. Therefore, we visit our friends and colleagues in the capital and, of course, out in Takhintal. After so many years of collaboration with the rangers, our relationship with them and their families is one of friendship.

And on this trip my colleague from the ITG board and I will visit Gobi A SPA and meet the park management and the rangers there. I am sure that we can learn from each others experience.

Do you involve the local people in the region of Takhintal? How do they respond to the project.

Oh, yes. Our relationship with the nomads and the soums in the region is excellent. From the very beginning we recruited rangers from the local population. There is now a small settlement of rangers and their families at the camp. The ITG has financed a school bus so that the children can attend school in the nearby soum. ITG also gave the school a new heating system. We support the towns whenever possible in the field of education, for medical care or with material for the local conservation office.

The work in Takhintal is financed largely by members of the International Takhi Group and Friends of the Takhi, Switzerland. Little support has come from Mongolians. Why is that and how can the situation be changed?

Let us be honest, projects like this cost a lot of money. Now the Takhintal project is financed largely by the ITG and by donations from nature enthusiasts from Europe. In order for the work to be sustainable, that can only be the beginning. The goal of ITG is – and must be – to put the entire project in the hands of Mongolia and Mongolians.

Today, Ulaanbaatar is a large international city, where, as in many other places, wealth is accumulating. We believe strongly that as time passes we will find here in Mongolia more and more people willing to support this work. In order to find these people we must talk about our project and the good stories behind it, for example, in an interview like this one, for which we want to thank you.

There will be a photography exhibit at Blue Moon Gallery in mid-April next year, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the reintroduction of the Takhi in Takhintal.

Yes, beautiful pictures of wild horses in their original home are pure emotion and directly touch people's hearts. That is why we will organize similar activities. Twice each year the ITG publishes a newsletter, the Takhi Post, for the Friends of the Takhi in Europe. The latest issue was translated into Mongolian and distributed here in Mongolia. We would like to call your attention, and that of your readers, to our Mongolian website

How can people here become involved in this project?

The ITG has an office here in Ulaanbaatar and has founded an organization for those interested in supporting our work. The group is called Friends of the Takhi, Mongolia. Members will receive the Takhi Post and invitations to whatever events are planned. Enkhsaikhan Namtar at the ITG office would welcome new members, and can be reached at

The Great Gobi B SPA borders on China. Do you also have contact with the Chinese neighbors?

Last fall a biologist from the ITG and I traveled to Xinjiang and to the Khalameili Reserve. We spoke with the forestry department there about the possibility of a partnership, as they have a breeding station and plan to reintroduce the Takhi to the Khalameili Nature Reserve. They need new stallions. ITG will try to use its network to make such a transport possible. The possibility of Great Gobi B receiving young mares from Jimsar is also being looked at. Our dream for the future is of a protected area reaching across the borders, providing a corridor for wildlife and closer relationships between the people of the two countries.

Link to interview


Healthy breakfast menu for Mongolians #4

September 23 ( The Public Health Institute introduced the customized the fourth breakfast menu, suited for Mongolians. It includes a glass of boiled milk and rye bread with cream, which has total of 384.2 kcal.

Milk and milk products are the most well-known sources of energy required for growth, fatty acids, Vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and zinc. A cream is the most appropriate choice for breakfast and is help to increase food appetites  and boost your mood. 

In addition, routinely eating breakfast helps prevent weight gain.

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Culture, Society

17 thousand couples tied the knot so far this year

Ulaanbaatar, September 23 (MONTSAME) Out of the total 859,106 households, 67 percent live in Ulaanbaatar and 33 percent live in the localities. The average number of family members is 3.5. In 2016, 17 thousand and 600 couples obtained new marriage certificates, while 3,600 couples dissolved their marriage, reports the Department for Families, Children and Youth Development of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare.

Marriage rate increased by 1.5 percent, whereas the divorce rose by 3.3 percent compared with the same period of last year.

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4000 copies of Quran distributed among Muslims in Mongolia

TEHRAN, September 25 (IQNA) – Turkey's Awqaf Organization distributed 4000 copies of the Quran and its translation in Mongolia.

According to Turkpress news agency, the copies, which include translations in Kazakh language, were handed out among worshippers in two mosques in the capital Ulaanbaatar as well as among Muslim university students.

Abdul Rahman Chetin, deputy of Turkey's Awqaf Organization, said the Muslim minority in Mongolia who are of Kazakh origin and are facing many difficulties in getting access to the Quran and its translations received the initiative very warmly.

He noted that it was part of the organization's plan to distribute free copies of the Quran and its translations in 135 countries.

So far, 400,000 copies of the Quran and its translations in different languages have been distributed around the world, he added.

Meanwhile, Khalil Tutul, the imam of a mosque in Ulaanbaatar said work is underway for translating the Quran into the Mongolian language.

He said 15 Juzes (parts) of the Quran have so far been translated into the language, predicting that it will be completed in a year.

Mongolia is a country in East Asia bordered by China and Russia.

Islam in Mongolia is practiced by approximately 7 percent of the population. It is practiced by the ethnic Kazakhs of Bayan-Olgii Province and Khovd Province in western Mongolia.

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Young Mongolians join the #2030NOW conversation at Social Good Summit

September 26 (UB Post) Over 150 young Mongolians gathered at the third annual Social Good Summit Mongolia, held last Saturday at IT Park, to address the challenges of today, share solutions and ideas, and examine the impact of technology and new media on global social good initiatives.

The Social Good Summit took place in over 80 countries around the world this year, giving voice to young people invested in engaging in local and global development concerns. The Philippine summit was also held on September 24. This year's summit asked participants "What type of world do I want to live in by the year 2030?"

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Mongolia partnered with the Center for Citizenship Education, IT Park, Mongolian Youth Council, UN Youth Advisory Panel, and UN Volunteers in Mongolia to anchor interactive sessions, presentations by and for young people, and the #2030NOW conversation on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. The event explored how young people in Mongolia can contribute to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by UN member countries one year ago, and included talks on the theme "Connecting Today, Creating Tomorrow".

At the opening, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Mongolia Beate Trankmann gave a speech followed by "Young People Will Bring Sustainable Development" speech by professor at the National University of Mongolia Ch.Lodoiravsal. Bee Project initiator B.Burte-Ujin, General Coordinator of MONFEMNET National Network D.Enkhjargal also presented a speech on "How to Use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to Stop Gender Inequality" during interactive sessions.

During interactive sessions, participants submitted innovative ideas and engaged with three main topics of examination: "ICT – Responsible and Accessible Governance", "ICT – Eliminating Gender Inequality", and "ICT – Responsible Consumption and Production".

More than 300 people applied to join this year's Social Good Summit, but only half of the applicants were selected. Organizers livestreamed the main stage event for those who weren't able to attend the summit. During the whole event, a sign language interpreter assisted people with hearing and speech impairment, enabling representatives of people living with disabilities to share their opinion without any difficulty.

A representative from the Mongolian Association of the Deaf, B.Ariunjargal commented, "Press and organizations broadcast and distribute information without a (sign language) interpreter. This is a form of serious violation against human rights. Two thirds of international televisions have news reported by sign language interpreters. Yet, not a single television in Mongolia meets this requirement."

Each September, world leaders come together at the United Nations General Assembly to discuss global issues and ways in which to tackle them. Recognizing that the voices and ideas of concerned global citizens connected by social media and technology can be powerful forces for change, UNDP Mashable, 92nd Street Y, and the United Nations Foundation partnered in 2009 to host the first Social Good Summit in New York to expand the UN conversations to include innovators, activists, and entrepreneurs around the world. Now in its sixth year, the Social Good Summit continues to grow in impact and reach to unite global citizens to unlock the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

Below are videos of interactive sessions.

"Information and Communications Technology – Responsible and Accessible Governance"

"ICT – Eliminating Gender Inequality"

"ICT – Responsible Consumption and Production"

Link to article


Getting into tight spots with 'hardest man on telly' Ross Kemp

Pick of the day: Ross Kemp: Extreme World, 9.20pm, ABC2.

September 26 (The Australian) Actor Ross Kemp is new to me but it appears this amiable chap has certainly carved out an extraordinary second career as a master host of extreme TV.

He rose to prominence in the role of tough guy Grant Mitchell in the BBC soap opera EastEnders but, since 2004, Kemp has received international recognition as an investigative journalist for this critically acclaimed and award-winning documentary series.

He takes on the most important global issues of our time by embedding himself in extreme situations and dangerous locations, delighting in his hard-won reputation as "the hardest man on the telly".

Kemp tells the untold stories of men and women suffering war, crime, violence and poverty, usually putting himself at risk. He confronts the people responsible and takes us on exciting, sometimes disturbing journeys of discovery.

Making calamitous situations his stock in trade, he's been tracked by armed Israeli drones and filmed in a bomb-making factory with the al-Quds brigade of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and been held at gunpoint while hunting a gangland kingpin in Papua New Guinea.

In this new series, he travels from the underworld of neo-Nazis in Mongolia to the migrants risking all to get into the US, from elephant poachers in Mozambique to the slums of Colombia convulsed by cocaine-fuelled violence, and he braves the frontline of the war against Islamic State in Syria.

First up, it's the Nazi vigilante gangs in Mongolia who are not afraid to use violence against the foreigners they believe are behind the country's economic downturn. Kemp discovers a disturbing rise in vigilante groups; behind the Nazi uniforms and violence, he finds a country in fear for its survival.

With climate change bringing devastation to a centuries-old nomadic way of life and vast deposits of coal, gold and copper attracting powerful neighbour China, many in Mongolia fear their identity is under threat.

Link to article


Mother, daughter deported back to Mongolia

September 26 (660 News) An emotional goodbye Monday morning at the Calgary International Airport as a mother and daughter were deported back to Mongolia.

Ariunaa Demberel and teenage Enkhjin arrived in the city in 2014, but pleas to stay in the country as refugees or under humanitarian and compassionate grounds since have been denied.

Demberel says she failed to grab many supporting documents she needed when she fled the country.

The pair are afraid of Demberel's ex-husband, who she claims repeatedly beat and sexually assaulted her.

"I still can't believe it," Ariunaa told reporters.

She said she treasures the past two years she and her daughter had in Calgary.

"It was like fairytale for us, living with freedom. So, I'm so thankful for that," she said, adding she's grateful to her friends. "They were doing their best, you know, in order to help us to stay in Canada, so, I'm really thankful to them as well."

Enkhjin was hoping until the end they would be able to stay, and reality didn't sink in until after they stopped by church early Monday.

"I just got an e-mail from our lawyer saying that the stay was refused and that's the moment we start thinking about what do we have to do to survive there in order to be able to come back," she said.

All of her friends are back at Western Canada High School.

"I really want to finish my high school with my friends, because all my friends are here and I don't have any friends back home, and it's just like, like everything is here," Enkhjin said. "I was like, hoping for the best, and hoping that everything is going to be all right."

The pair plan to find somewhere to hide out in Mongolia.

"We love Canada, so, we will be still trying to come back," Ariunaa said.

Link to article


Calgary mother and daughter ordered deportedCTV, September 25

Mother, Daughter Fleeing Allegedly Abusive Ex-Husband To Be Deported MondayAM980, September 26

Calgary woman and daughter desperate to be saved from deportation to Mongolia660 News, September 26


'DON'T open it' Genghis Khan's secret tomb sparks fears of WORLD WAR 3 and apocalypse

THE final resting place of feared warlord Genghis Khan is shrouded in mystery – but legend has it that opening his tomb will spark WORLD WAR 3 when it's found.

September 26 (Daily Star) Writings claim the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire – which stretched from Russia to China – never wanted his tomb to be found after his death. 

The Mongolian government has even created a forbidden zone to stop invasive archaeologists digging for the tomb.

But adventurers searching for Khan's burial site are now said to be close to pin-pointing its whereabouts – but they do so at their peril, according to historians and conspiracy theorists.

They connect the search for Khan's tomb with the discovery of the resting place of another ancient ruler – Timur – who claimed to be the restorer of the Mongol Empire and a descendant of Khan himself.

They claim the find of his tomb in the 1940s triggered some of the biggest struggles of World War 2.

And it's feared it would be even worse if Khan's remains are ever found.

Historian John Man said: "If Genghis Khan's tomb is discovered in Mongolia, it will have enormous geopolitical repercussions."

In his book Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection he wrote: "Many people in China believe Mongolia, like Tibet, should be part of China, as it was under Kublai Khan.

"If China succeeds in establishing mining rights in Mongolia and a dominance over that industry, then Genghis's tomb might become a focal point for political ambitions, the like of which we have never seen."

The curse of Timur

When Timur died in 1405 his tomb was inscribed with one of the most convincing curses in history reading: "When I rise from the dead, the world shall tremble."

Another inscription on his casket read: "Whomsoever opens my tomb shall unleash an invader more terrible than I."

But a Russian anthropologist ignored the warning and opened the tomb in 1941.

Three days later Adolf Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, the largest ever military invasion on the Soviet Union.

Timur was reburied with full ritual rites and within days the Soviet Union managed to beat the Nazis at the Battle of Stalingrad.

Many terrified Mongolians think that opening Genghis Khan's tomb it will unleash a globally destructive curse even worse than Timur's.

Khan's burial

Legends has it that Khan was buried with all his treasure and never wanted his tomb to be found.

Not one artefact has been found that belonged to the leader who killed more than 40 million people.

The 13th century warlord's tomb has no markings and his funeral escort killed everyone they encountered on the way to the burial site.

All the slaves who built the tomb were killed and the soldiers who killed them were also massacred to protect the secret location.

Some stories say the great conqueror's tomb was stamped over by thousands of horses to obliterate any trace of it in the earth.

The search

Since his death many attempts have been made to find the tomb.

Many are lured by curiosity and adventure, some by the promise of great wealth.

But expeditions have been stopped by a string of unfortunate "accidents," which many think prove the existence of the curse.

In 2002 an American expedition was destroyed after members of the party were bitten by poisonous snakes living in a two-mile-long wall thought to protect the tomb site.

Other workers on the trip fell foul of deadly creatures and cars rolled off hillsides for no apparent reason.

Finally the former Mongolian prime minister called a halt to the search and banned anyone from entering the Forbidden Zone.

But that hasn't stopped one archeologist named Albert Yu-Min who believes "using traditional archeological methods would be disrespectful to believers".

Instead his team use GPS trackers and geophysical instruments, which mean finding the tomb might not mean actually digging it up.

But despite this, the rumours of a curse and local superstition force many to hope the tomb's location remain a mystery.

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Nature, Environment

Saving the Gobi bear

By Elise Honningdalsnes

September 23 (UB Post) Hidden from the world, in the earth's fifth largest desert, is the rare Gobi bear fighting for its survival. These bears have found a way to live in one of the most extreme environments on the planet, but there are not many of them left.

The Gobi Desert sprawls across 1,300,000 square km, ranging from southern Mongolia to northern China. It gets as cold as minus 40°C in winter and in summer as hot as 50°C. Rain is a rare, but most welcome phenomena in the Gobi, and bears therefore travel long distances to find water.

Barry Jiggins, the founder of MongoliAid, has realized just how important it is to save the Gobi bear from extinction and this year his Australian organization donated money in order to help the Gobi bear survive. This is only one of the projects the organization is involved in.

"Imagine if people took a stand for [West African black] rhinos in Africa 40 years ago, then they wouldn't have been extinct today," he says.

Jiggins has been doing charity work in Mongolia over the past 13 years and he has become more and more interested in the Gobi bear during his time here.

"I kind of feel like it's a privilege to at least be in the position where you can try to save them," he emphasizes.

The Gobi bear belong to the species Ursus arctos, commonly known as the brown bear. The Gobi bears' coats tend to be more bronze than brown, the bears are smaller and they live in way harder condition than their relatives.

Twice a year, in April and September, the Mongolian government has been delivering food to help the population survive and grow. As the government tend to be tight on money and unable to deliver food in time, NGOs need to help in order to protect the small bear population.

Tumenjargal Nambar, the head of the NGO MAMA, is one of the people who works hard to save the Gobi bear. It was by chance that Jiggins met Tumenjargal and decided to help him in his work.

It is crucial for the bears that the food is delivered in a tight three weeks' window. The bears receive supplemental food in April, so that they can fatten up quickly, and in September to prepare them for hibernation. If the food delivery happens too late, the bears miss out on all the benefits from the feeding.

The Gobi bear is the only bear that's not kept in captivation anywhere and it is commonly believed that there are only about 10 breeding females left. The population this year is set to be around 40-45 individuals. The population has consisted of 20-50 bears since the 1970s.

Jiggings came to Mongolia as a tourist 13 years ago looking for an adventure. During his trip, he decided to visit a local hospital as Jiggins is a hospital worker himself. There he saw patients sitting on mattresses without blankets, and this made a great impact on him.

"I went home [to Australia] and started begging in the media for blankets," he says. Over the past decade he has established a well-known organization and he has sent 34,000 blankets over to Mongolia in 44 containers. The blankets have been distributed systematically to those who need them.

This year, MongoliAid decided to buy locally sourced blankets and distribute them locally in the area closest to the Gobi bear, instead of paying for shipping of containers. They provided 200 blankets to schools, hospitals and kindergartens in Shinejinst in Bayankhongor Province and 200 blankets to Bayantooroi in Gobi-Altai Province. The organization also donated 3,500 USD to help with food distribution and to pay a local team of scientists to do research on the Gobi bear.

"This is the darkest hour for the Gobi bear," says Jiggins. The population has rebounded slightly, but it is still crucial for the population to be fed in order to grow. The long-term goal is that the Gobi bear population will be stable, and feeding no longer necessary.

In a small oasis near the border of the Gobi area live about 20 people who grow their own food. They sell some, but most of it is for the bears. The Gobi bear is 90 percent vegetarian, as there are not many animals to hunt down in their habitat. The food is made by love, but distribution is what cost. This is where Jiggins realized that he could help. The money donated fromMongoliAid this year helped pay for trucks and petrol as the government was unable to provide the food at the right time.

There are two Gobi bear research centers in the area, at Ekhiin Gol in the east and in Bayantooroi in the west. There are three small mountain ranges that form the bears' last refuge, a western, central and eastern range. All with several feeding stations. Each feeding station requires six bags of food.

"With more water projects and more blankets, all targeted near the bears, we can restore the bear population," says Jiggins.

In 2010, MongoliAid also helped finance the construction of a well for the Scout Association of Mongolia at Batsumber. The project was later followed by two further and major water projects at Bayangovi in Bayankhongor Province and at Tsogt Tsetsii in Umnugovi Province. These projects are now providing clean and secure drinking water to over 16,000 Mongolians.MongoliAid spent 140,000 AUD on the project.

When asked how he managed to collect money for such an extensive project, Jiggins tells The UB Post that he spent his lifesavings on the project. "I don't own a house and I felt like this was important enough to spend my savings on," he says. "You only get one life to make the world a better place. Saving the Gobi bear and putting smiles onto young Gobi faces are my benchmarks for a successful life," Jiggins says.

"I've left behind a lot of smiling faces, and that's my goal," he says, "leaving it a little better than when I came."

Link to article


"Great Gobi Six" project will protect the Gobi ecosystem

September 23 ( Africa`s Big Five is well-known term in the world, which refers to some of Africa's most popular wildlife, the lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros. Currently, many projects to protect and praise them are being implemented worldwide. 

"Great Gobi 6" project, inspired by the Africa`s Big Five, has just started with the aim to protect Gobi ecosystem. 

In Mongolia, the Great Gobi six animals are the wild Bactrain camelonagerGobi bear or MazaalaiPrzewalski's horseblack-tailed deer and the saiga

WWF - Mongolia in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Environment Department of Gobi-Altai aimag, Great Gobi A Strictly Protected Area have organized the event  to promote them to the public on Sep 15-16th at Bugat soum, Gobi-Altai aimag. 

The main purpose of the event is to involve parties to the protection of Gobi ecosystem through great Gobi six animals and to unite the activities in further. 

Each of the great Gobi six animals are responsible for ecosystem. For instance, onager digs holes in dry riverbeds to access subsurface water. The water holes dug by the wild asses are often subsequently visited by domestic livestock, as well as other wild animals. Water is also found in the plants on which the onagers feed.

However, people illegally hunt them to sell their skins and meat. Moreover, habitat of onagers is divided because of mining operation and they began escaping into another areas. Currently, 40 thousand onagers are existing in Mongolia. 

Country Director of WWF-Mongolia D.Batbold noted that "Gobi Six" term will become a Mongolian brand and we will promote the term to the world. 

"Takhiin tal" declaration was issued and parties agreed to reform law relating to the welfare of animals, organise events to attract public attention and create tourism brand products named "Gobi Six".

Link to article


"Great Gobi 6" will help save natural habitatMontsame, September 23


Autumn Colors in Terelj National Park

September 26 ( Autumn has come in Mongolia and the end of autumn nears. Our report team has visited to the Terelj National Park on weekend and did hiking. Autumn colors were stunning and we deliver you some breathtaking photos of Terelj mountains.

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Dinosaur hunters mark important anniversary

September 23 ( This year marks the 70th anniversary of the first Joint Soviet-Mongolian Paleontological Expedition, which was important in pushing forward the study of the dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous. In 1946, a team of Russian paleontologists came to Mongolia to explore for dinosaur fossil at the invitation of the then Linguistic Institute of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences. This was followed by expeditions in 1947 and 1949. As part of the anniversary, paleontologists from Russia and Mongolia and 'veterans' of the three expeditions held a Scientific Conference at Puma Imperial Hotel in Ulaanbaatar on Thursday 22nd of September. The conference continues today in the Gobi at the site of the discovery of the remains of Mongolia's most famous dinosaur T-Bataar or Tarbosaurus. Here in 1946 the members of the first expedition discovered the remains of several large therapods including a full skeleton and a skull. This new dinosaur was similar to the Tyrannosaurus from North America and also the Alioramus of Mongolia and North China. The name, "Tarbosaurus", meaning "alarming lizard", was first given by the Soviet paleontologist Yevgeny Maleev in 1955. It was a fierce meat-eating dinosaur which lived 70-65 million years ago in what is now Mongolia and Northern China. Two thirds of all Tarbosaurus remains have been discovered in the Gobi desert at famous paleontological sites such as the Flaming Cliffs, also known as Bayanzag and Nemekht Mountain. During the Late Cretaceous, what is now the Gobi was fertile and crossed by rivers and contained a wide range of fauna.

The first scientifically recognized dinosaur egg fossils were discovered in the Bayanzag soum in 1923 by a team led by the famous explorer Roy Chapman Andrews, director of the American Museum of Natural History. The expedition originally came to Mongolia in search of discovering the remains of early humans - instead they found the fossils of five species of dinosaur. Mongolia is listed third in the discovery of dinosaur fossils in the world.

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Mongolia wins Asian University Men's Basketball Championship

September 26 (UB Post) The sixth Asian University Men's Basketball Championship concluded on September 24 at Buyant-Ukhaa Sports Palace. The Mongolian national university team claimed victory at the tournament. They were followed by Taiwan and China.

This is the first time that the Mongolian team has won the Asian University Championship.

Basketball teams from South Korea, China, Macau, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong competed in the tournament.

Teams from China, Hong Kong, and South Korea played in Group A, while teams from Taiwan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Macau competed in Group B.

In the final round, the Mongolian team played against Taiwan and won 92:79. China and Hong Kong competed for bronze medal. The bronze medal match ended with a victory for China.

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Mongolian Paralympic medalists return home

September 26 (UB Post) The Mongolian national team that competed in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games returned home at 1:00 a.m. on September 24. Eight Mongolian athletes competed in five sports events at this year's Paralympics, and brought two bronze medals.

Mongolian judoka B.Uugankhuu won a bronze medal in the men's 60 kg category, and powerlifting athlete E.Sodnompiljee claimed a bronze medal in the men's 88 kg category.

The two athletes' family, friends, the Mongolian National Paralympic Committee, Suld Sports Committee, Mongolian National Federation of the Blind, and representatives from sports federations welcomed them at Chinggis Khaan International Airport.

During the welcoming ceremony, Paralympic bronze medalist B.Uugankhuu said, "The judo tournament takes place on the first day of the Paralympic Games. September 8 was a hard day for me. I didn't want to let down my teammates and Mongolians' hope. I concentrated on my technique during Rio 2016. I think I did well."

"I was very happy that I started the medal tally of the Mongolian team at the Rio 2016. The moment when I was standing on the medal podium was very precious. I want to thank the Mongolian Judo Association, president of the association Kh.Battulga and president of the Mongolia Para-Judo Association Kh.Tsagaanbaatar. Thank you all," he added.

Powerlifting athlete E.Sodnompiljee said, "I am very satisfied that we have returned from Rio 2016 with medals. I am proud of myself because I added a new achievement in the Mongolian powerlifting history. My wish came true at Rio 2016. The judging at Rio 2016 Paralympics was strict. But a decision is a decision. I thought I lifted 217 kg but there was a technical mistake. The top 10 athletes selected from 46 countries competed in the men's 88 kg category. The tournament was very competitive. Athlete of Saudi Arabia Mohammed lifted 220 kg and seized a gold medal. He is a two-time Paralympics champion. A champion is a champion. He was very good. I am very happy that I won a Paralympic medal along with him."

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Mongolia wins two silver at Asian Beach Games

September 26 ( The 5th Asian Beach Games for 2016  are currently taking  place in Vietnam, under the auspices of the Olympic Council of Asia. The Mongolian wrestler B.Ariuntsog (-94 kg) from the 'Garuda club' and B.Unurjargal (+94kg) from 'Jenlo club' both won silver medals at the games.

A total of 37 Mongolian athletes are participating in seven sport categories, namely, ju-jitsu, sambo, kurash, bodybuilding, petanque, volleyball and basketball. Athletes from 54 countries are competing in 21 sport categories.

The Asian Beach Games are being held at the popular tourist destination of Nha Trang from 24th of September to 3rd of October.

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Art, Entertainment

Mongolian president hails Philadelphia Orchestra tour

September 24 ( Little did many of us know: Friday was Mongolia-Philadelphia Friendship Day.

And that proclamation seemed quite literal to Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj at a City Hall ceremony, who said: "I'm happy to call all of you friends of Mongolia. Let's work together!"

The occasion was a state visit at the invitation of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which will make its debut in his country next June as part of its periodic Far East tours. The visit is said to be the largest nonpolitical United States delegation to the capital of Ulaanbaatar over the last 30 years, and is part of an endeavor on both sides to cultivate a stronger diplomatic bond between the countries.

Former Secretary of State James A. Baker, who visited Mongolia in 1990 and 1991, coined the expression "third neighbor" in reference to the U.S.-Mongolia bond - in contrast to China and Russia, which border the country. Mongolia has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, and both sides are eager to get closer - with the Philadelphia Orchestra concerts being the catalyst.

Already in this country for the U.N. General Assembly, Elbegdorj arrived in Philadelphia for a morning ceremony at City Hall, a luncheon in his honor at the Kimmel Center, a 2 p.m. concert by the orchestra, and a lecture at the American Center for Mongolian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Local Mongolians sought him out, some waiting outside City Hall, others inside, such as Anisa Tsakuginow, a supporter of Mayor Kenney and, at age 101, said to be the oldest Mongolian in Philadelphia. The president was only mildly taken aback when she first spoke to him in Russian.

Elbegdorj, 53, began life as a nomadic herder, but was a published poet as a young man, something reflected in lecture titles like "Every Beat of the Heart Is the Sound of Freedom" and "No Dictatorship is Forever."

Though a Harvard graduate who is perhaps more used to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Elbegdorj was keen to have the Philadelphia Orchestra because of its history of pathbreaking appearances in China, among other places.

He was eager to draw parallels between this city as the birthplace of American democracy, and his country's emergence as a democratic nation after the fall of the Soviet Union, which dominated its politics - a bloodless revolution in which he was a key figure. Elbegdorj is known to champion human rights causes, including women's rights.

The June concert "shows how far our relationship between our two nations had come, that it's not just between the presidents and the government," he said outside City Hall. "This is cultural exchange, and that's important. We have a great cultural heritage. And the Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the famous cultural messengers in the world."

He acknowledged that he had never heard the orchestra live, though at the afternoon concert, the first notes from the Fabulous Philadelphians were from his own national anthem - "Mongol Ulsyn Töriin Duulal" - as conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

"This is a very big deal for diplomatic relations with Mongolia," Debra Lo, foreign service officer at the U.S Department of State's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. "Secretary of State John Kerry was just in Mongolia in June, and was the first secretary of state to visit Mongolia in a very long time. The country is strategically positioned and an ally of the U.S. They like us. They want to improve relations in every respect."

That liking may become more mutual as time goes on. "I love Mongolia," said the Hong Kong-born Lo. "I have been there twice. It's a lovely, lovely country. It reminds me of Montana. The people are very warm and earnest. They touch me."

Elbegdorj's interest in the orchestra goes beyond what it represents. He said he loves Bach, Mozart, and Chopin. "I always listen," he said. "If you go to my home, there are some news channels on, but between them, always classical music."

So he's in a position to judge the acoustics at the Ulaanbaatar hall where the orchestra will perform? "Good. But maybe not as good as here," he said. "I have an idea: We have a square called Genghis Khan Square. It's in the open air. I hope they [the orchestra] will give one concert there. One indoors, one outdoors. I think people will really enjoy it."

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Philadelphia Orchestra to make Mongolia debut next June -, September 26


Mongolian Opera Singer Claims First Prize at Eva Marton Competition

Ulaanbaatar, September 26 (MONTSAME) Baritone/bass baritone Ankhbayar Enkhbold from the Mongolian State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet won the First Prize of the 2nd Eva Marton operatic singing competition in Budapest on Saturday. He was followed by the second prize winner soprano Lilla Horti of Hungary, and the third prize soprano Lucyna Jarzabek of Poland.

The Grand Prix of the competition went to Belarusian singer Alexander Roslavets.

Over 2,000 young singers form five continents submitted applications for the competition from January 2016.

Some 77 singers passed the initial muster and 48 singers arrived in Budapest to compete. Of them 10 were chosen to sing in the finals, held at the Hungarian Academy of Music.

The contestants were accompanied by the Hungarian State Opera House Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Balazs Kocsar.

The competition is named after internationally acknowledged operatic soprano Eva Marton, who taught at the Hungarian Academy of Music after a long stage career and who organized the competition. She chaired the jury that awarded the prizes.

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E.Ankhbayar wins first place at International Eva Marton Singing CompetitionUB Post, September 26


Seo In Guk and Kangnam have a heated fishing battle on 'Laws of the Jungle in Mongolia'

September 24 (allkpop) On the September 23 airing of SBS's 'Laws of the Jungle in Mongolia', Seo In Guk and M.I.B's Kangnam had a heated fishing battle by the river where the group decided to camp for the night!

Before heading off, Seo In Guk impressed everyone with his extensive knowledge of fishing, having had experience during his previous appearance on the Indochina season. However, despite his self-proclaimed title of 'Fishing King', Seo In Guk failed to catch anything substantial, while Kangnam reeled up 3 fish! Undoubtedly, being same-age-friends stirred up their rivalry even more!

In the end, Seo In Guk and Kangnam managed to work together to catch enough fish to feed the rest of the cast for the night. 

Way to go, you two!

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For $16,000, You Can Hunt With Eagles in the Wilds of Mongolia

A once-in-a-lifetime experience thousands of years in the making

September 26 (Bloomberg) Every October in Mongolia, among the high-altitude crags of the Altai Mountains, the ancient nomadic tradition of falconry comes to life. The area is home to the native burkitshi, who have trained eagles to aid in their hunting expeditions. Now you can join in.

Jalsa Urubshurow, founder of Nomadic Expeditions and the Golden Eagle Festival, which runs from Sept. 27 to Oct. 5, offers seven-day guided immersions with a local family. Stay in yurts that come with hand-carved wooden beds warmed by wood-burning stoves. (George Soros and Russian billionaire Anatoly Skurov are former clients.) At night, pair a dinner of goat ribs or beshbarmak stew with Chinggis Khan vodka and wine.

In the morning, steaming cups of spiced milk tea arrive with breakfast before you ride out on horseback with the hooded birds to look for the tracks of lynx, rabbits, or foxes. When you find them, your hunter releases his eagle, which flies 100 to 200 feet up before it circles, locates, then dives on the animal. What these big birds lack in speed—70 mph, vs. a peregrine falcon's 200 mph—they make up for in mass. They weigh 14 pounds and have a 7-foot wingspan. The force of their attack can take out an animal as large as a wolf.

"It's like a major league pitcher throwing a bowling ball," Urubshurow says. "Knocks them out cold."

Getting there is an adventure in itself. From Ulaanbaatar (at least a 17-hour flight from New York), it's a 3-hour flight west to Ulgii, then 2 to 5 more hours via Land Cruiser into the wilds. From $15,995 per person, double occupancy; 800 998-6634 

Falconry Closer to Home?

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Golden Eagle Festival 2016, October 1-2, Bayan-Ulgii

September 23 ( Mongolia is home to a 2000 years old tradition of hunting with trained Golden Eagles. This tradition has been passed from generation to generation among the Kazakh nomads, and even survived the harsh regime when national identities such as religions and traditions were oppressed - thanks to the Mongolian government for consenting ethnic minorities to keep their traditions and languages.

The Kazakh are an ethnic group mostly inhabit in the Altai Mountains in Western Mongolia. Each year, the Kazakhs hold 2 festivals for their renowned Eagle Hunters, and one of them is the Altai Eagle Festival taking place in late September; and the other in the first weekend of every October in Bayan-Ulgii province. The Golden Eagle Festival features about 70-80 eagle hunters or the "Berkutchi" and their eagles that show off their skills in several events starting with chasing a fox skin and calling their eagle from a distance. The finale event is the eagle catching a live fox/wolf.

The festival also features a camel race, and several traditional games including Uriankhai archery, Tiyn Teru (a race to pick a coin off the ground from horseback), Kyz Kuar ("woman chase," a man and woman racing with the woman whipping the man), and the highlight, Kokpar (tug-of –war while on horseback). Winners are selected in each event. The Golden Eagle Festival provides a great opportunity for visitors to get up close to the eagles and their trainers.

Moreover, visitors can also ride a camel or horse or hold an eagle for photos during the event. The festival was initiated in 1999 by American owned travel company Nomadic Expeditions to preserve this wonderful Kazakh cultural heritage. 

Food and traditional Kazakh crafts are sold at the venue by locals. Gers and tents are available for rent at the festival site or in Ulgii as well as transfers. Most Mongolian tour operators provide good package tours as well.

Festival dates for 2016: 01-02 October.
Venue: Sayat Tolgoi, Bugat soum, Bayan-Ulgii province (30min drive from Ulgii town).

For more info about the Golden Eagle Festival just contact the organisers "Mongolian Berkutchi Association" at the following number/fax: 976-42-22815. 

Prepared exclusively for GoGo Travel by Zola
(Co-founder of Premium Travel Mongolia LLC.
Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.

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