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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

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New Chairwoman Named for Mongol News Media Group

On December 24 2007, B.Nandintushig was appointed Chairwoman of the Mongol News Media Group and Editor in Chief of Onoodor Newspaper. She met with news staff during a regular company meeting. The Mongol News Media Group is the largest private media group in Mongolia that owns the UB Post, Onoodor, Tavan Tsagarig, Nyam Garig, TV Guide, Minii Ger and Channel 25 Television.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

10

Prime Minister Withdraws Oyu Tolgoi Agreement from Parliament

It is more likely that the new Prime Minister S.Bayar is going to withdraw the draft investment agreement submitted to the Parliament on the Oyu Tolgoi, a major copper and gold project in the southern province.

Some specific articles of the multi-billion dollar agreement including the percentage of the government's stake of 34% would be reviewed again by the government and resubmit to the Parliament with 51%. Two different working groups were set up to negotiate with the investors on
this. Opposition Member of Parliament S.Lambaa confirmed the information that the draft investment agreement has been withdrawn back.

"The draft agreement is put above the laws and regulations of Mongolia, which should not be acceptable."
The agreement was to be signed between the Government of Mongolia and Canadian invested Ivanhoe Mines Mongolia Inc company after the Parliament approves.

The UB Post plans to write an editorial piece on this.

0

Agreement with Xinhua Signed

The UB Post, Mongolia's independent English language weekly newspaper, signed in an agreement with Xinhua News Agency of the P.R. of China on exchange of information. The UB Post has got full rights to use Xinhua's photos and English language news on the upcoming Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The agreement made in both Mongolian and Chinese languages.

Monday, December 24, 2007

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Past Archives

An archive of electronic versions of the newspaper is now available on CD-ROM. All editions printed throughout the year 2007 are in Adobe PDF file format. Anyone interested to buy, leave a comment here. 2006, 2005, 2004 archives are also available at request.

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Last Edition of the Year

On the morning hearing, the UB Post planned the last edition of the year, the 52nd, which will be out on December 27. We planned to name top 9 events of the year 2007 as always.

A visitor to our newsroom: Mr. Bharat Dahiya, a human settlements officer of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

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Funeral on Friday

It is tragic loss for not only all of us here at the newsroom, but whole journalism industry of Mongolia. The UB Post planned this week's front page in memorial for our chief editor.
No happy new year, Christmas greetings will be published. And, no new year party will be celebrated.

In the days since last Sunday, thousands of messages poured into Mongol News Media Group, and some of those have found their way to signing in the Condolence Book at the downstairs of the office building, including representatives of foreign diplomatic missions, business community, politicians, and his friends.

Collection of flowers, and memorial candles were placed in front of his portrait at the main entrance to the office.

To those of you who sent us a message, the Mongol News says "Thank you." We are profoundly grateful for your kind thoughts and encouragement. One wish most commonly expressed is that Mongol News should work hard to continue his aims. His colleagues, and his press friends all over the country will continue to work for the single purpose of delivering fair, balanced, responsible journalism products to our readers. Thank you for your love and support.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

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Those who live in the hearts of others never die

Ts.Baldorj
(1953-2007)

All media staff at The UB Post was devastated at the news about the death of our beloved company chairman Ts.Baldorj. I genuinely felt like I had lost a member of my family. Because he was more like a father to my family. Because he used to call me “my son” fondly. Thus this news is such very hard to believe, very hard to come down. I once again kick myself for I could not thank him while he was still alive. It’s a reminder to me to spend a day thanking the people in our lives who make a difference. He did make big differences in my life since after I started working at this news team. He was such a simple man to ask how my family is, how my daughter is. It seems like yesterday when he was smiling at me and asking “Which floor you want to move in” when he was giving me a key to housing. He was such a kind and humane father to us. He will be painfully missed by my family from generation to generation. He will be terribly missed by many all over the country as there are hundreds of press friends and we all will be thinking of him and we will definitely be working hard to continue his work.

Those who live in the hearts of others never die.

Ch.Sumiyabazar
Editor in Chief
The UB Post

Monday, December 10, 2007

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Turkish visit

Our deputy editor, Bulgamaa, is back from Turkish visit to Istanbul this morning. Hearing travel stories is always interesting as I do like to travel a lot. One thing that was so impressive to hear was "Turkish people treat Mongolians very well" because both countries are same rooted nations. "When I say I come from Mongolia. They were really nice to me with great respects".

In modern-day Turkey, Mongolia's Chinggis Khaan is looked on as a great military leader and many male children are named after him. I just recalled that some years ago a front page story of the UB Post had an article on inaugural ceremony of the Chinggis Khaan's monument in Ankara, Turkey.

Effective from two months ago, Turkey freed visa regulation for Turkic language speaking nations in the world that include Mongolia or Mogolistan as they call us. So, Mongolian citizens are now traveling to Turkey without visas, which is a good thing.

Monday, December 3, 2007

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New site launched

Newswire.mn My latest web project, www.newswire.mn, was launched today. Any ideas are welcome.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

2

Idea gold

Me and my deputy editor came up with an idea today about a small web site project. Maybe this is a wonderful idea and good timing to start. The web site should be launched by the beginning of December. I can't wait. Will let you know by then.

1

New editor welcomed

Today, our English Editor Tirthankar Mukherjee is leaving Mongolia to return home. At the same time, Julie Pitzen became English style editor of our newspaper. She will work until end of January here.

2

Altantuya stories generate responses

I wrote a number of stories on Altantuya murder case for Onoodor, a Mongolian language daily newspaper, which you can find here, here, here, and here. Tomorrow another one will be published on the front page of Onoodor newspaper about phone calls the two accuseds made to each other before and after the deceased was murdered. Some of the stories generate very good responses from Mongolian readers, strongly demanding justice over the Altantuya case from the Malaysian court. And, the most read stories of the UB Post web site are also the ones about the murder too.

My previous post "Malaysia-Is it a good destination to learn English?" generated 47 responses on Susan Leone's blog here. Glad to know that Malaysians caring a Mongolian blogger's perspective point of view to the case. I don't think mine is the only voice, there are dozens of blogs by Mongolians. Unfortunately those are in Mongolian language. Maybe this is one example of why Mongolian youths want to go to foreign country to learn English, which is becoming widely popular since the early 1990s when Mongolia opened to the world. I wish my fellow Mongolians study global spoken languages and walk shoulder-to-shoulder with the development of the world. That's why here are so many businesses that bridge Mongolians with Malaysia, Australia, USA, and Singapore. Remember Altantuya's friend was saying at the court that she was coming to Malaysia with the help of Help Center here.

Malaysia is not a perfect place. Malaysians are not perfect people. We do drive our cars like a maniac, throw empty mineral water bottles to the side of the road when we could not find a river, forgot to flush the toilet every now and then and blamed the singaporean whenever we could. But we never made it a habbit of finding a foreign students, blow a hole on their head, stuff a c4 inside their bodies and all that fancy stuffs. Happens sometimes but the frequency may be as rare as another genghis khan being born in Mongolia.

So to tell everyone that malaysia is not safe anymore is like telling everyone not to go to mongolia coz genghis khan will wait for you at the airport with his sword and armours.

It is still safe here to study here. Of course I am assuming that study means you go to school and does not include selling a billion dollar hardware and dating a married man at the same time. Its a different game. Ordinary folks like us would not do that to any mongolians and we would love to hand over whoever killed any mongolians to mongolians. We are nice people. We love Genghis khan too.
In the other development, an editor from the Asiasentinel.com contacted me to know whether Mongolian press outlets have published a photograph of Altantuya posed with the accused Abdul Razak Baginda and Malaysian Deputy Premier Najib Razak, who are still denying that he does not know her. Up till now, I did not see that photograph published on Mongolian press, but I think I have seen an image depicting Altantuya sat behind a table together with Razak Baginda and Najib Razak. But that was a computer generated one, obviously visible.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

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Schmap Guide

Glad to hear that my submitted photo has been selected for inclusion in the newly released fourth edition of German Schmap Hamburg Guide.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

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600th Edition Next Week

The UB Post will print the 600th edition next week.

Monday, November 12, 2007

1

Mining Investors Should Respect Laws of Host Country

Mukherjee, our English Editor from India, and I today talked briefly about what recent UNCTAD report advises mining investors. The UB Post is having more on the report this week.

THE World Investment Report 2007, recently released by UNCTAD, defines the role of foreign-invested companies in the mining sector in developing countries as one contributing “to efficient production while, at a minimum, respecting host country laws."
I agreed what Mukherjee is thinking. Those foreign invested mining companies should respect the laws and regulations of Mongolia since they are coming here to make money, not to help us. Who are they to say "No!" to the laws of our country? The investment agreement, now pending its approval at the Parliament of Mongolia, is likely to exempt windfall profits tax to Canadian mining company. I remembered one civil movement activist was saying that it was shameful that so-called whatever mining giants or investors from developed countries seeking tax holiday from a small developing country. See, they are proud to call themselves as world no.1s of the industry. There should be no one above the law, I think.

I read last week a story by Reuters that "Rio Tinto warns Mongolia..." Who are they to "warn" us? I did not believe such someone business official from the Rio Tinto warned the Government of Mongolia.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

1

Alameda pictures

Connie Rux, Editor of the Alameda Journal, sent us some pictures from California.




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Three Suspects Arrested in Alameda

On November 6, Grace Roberts, Honorary Consul of Mongolia in California, told us that Alameda Police and City of Oakland Police (Sister city with Ulaanbaatar) have arrested three teenage boys in connection with the murder of 15 years old Mongolian girl.

The three boys were taken into custody after police developed several leads and served multiple search and arrest warrants. But it is not yet clear whether one of them is the suspected gunman. Connie Rux, Editor of Alameda Journal, told us that she will have more details about the arrest later tonight. "All we know now is there were three people arrested, but no details."

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a press notice on November 5 on the murder of a Mongolian girl, B.Ichinkhorloo, who was shot and killed in Alameda, California.

Foreign Minister N.Enkhbold met with the relatives of the girl in Ulaanbaatar on November 5. He has requested the US Charge d’Affaires here for help to the grandparents of the girl to go to the USA for the funeral.
The funeral will be held on Friday.

0

Burial of Ichinkhorloo will be held on Friday in Alameda

Today, I got an email from Grace M. Roberts, Honorary Consul of Mongolia in California.

She was an excellent student destined for a bright future, a girl who would bring joy and pride to any parent. Her memorial service was today and burial will be Friday. It was a tragic loss to all of us here in California.
A 15 years old Mongolian girl, B.Ichinkhorloo(Iko), was shot and killed on October 31 around 10:00 PM Halloween night not far from her house, a safe neighborhood park.
Iko, her older brother and cousin was ready to go home when 5-6 youth came to them trying to rob and shot guns in the air (3-4 times) to scare Iko, her brother and friends. Iko, her brother and friends thought that it was fake gun and she stood up from the bench where she was sitting. And gun man shot Iko as she stood up from the bench and killed her.

This is the first murder in city of Alameda this year and Alameda police are working very hard to find this killer. My office is in contact with Alameda Police constantly for status of their investigation. According to the police, they have very good information that could help find killer.

Monday, November 5, 2007

0

New print design

The UB Post is trying to introduce some new news design aspects starting from this week's edition. We will try to make more room for more news stories.
In three weeks, our English editor Mukherjee is leaving the Post. So, we announced a vacancy for the position. We received many applications from job candidates. Some has got a very good journalistic skills. Some were even Mongolians. For those who are Mongolians, needless to remind that this position is open for only native English speakers. So, it was hard for us to select a good candidate.

2

Mongolian Girl Killed in USA

Today, all Mongolian language daily newspapers published news about a Mongolian girl shot to death in the USA. We found it shocking. The UB Post will have more details on Thursday.

A 15-year-old Mongolian girl was shot dead by unidentified men at Alameda Park in San Francisco last Wednesday evening, which was Halloween in the USA. B.Ichinkhorloo was hanging out with several of her school friends in the play area of the park when a group of about six Asian male teenagers in dark clothes tried to rob them at gunpoint, according to Alameda Police Department.
My sympathy and prayers to the family of Ichinkhorloo. I think that America is not as safe as other countries might think. There are too many young college teens with guns.

San Francisco report here.
San Jose Mercury report here.

Monday, October 29, 2007

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New site design

Today, The UB Post web site has got a new design.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

0

Travel stories

You can find as many stories on Mongolian daily publications and televisions about their reporters' visit to Konnecot copper mine in Utah.

0

Editor Wanted

The UB POST is seeking a full-time English-language style editor to start work by mid-November, 2007. The candidate should have previous editing and/or journalism experience and be a native English speaker. If you are interested in working with us, please submit your resume and cover letter electronically to ubpost@mongolnews.mn.

ENGLISH STYLE EDITOR
(native English speakers only)
The UB POST is seeking a full-time English Style Editor to start work by mid-November, 2007.

Major Duties (not limited to)
• Supervising activities of Mongolian journalists.
• Monitoring and coordinating the photography, art work, layout and preparation of the copy for publication.
• Reviewing copy submitted by staff or contributors.
• Editing material for accuracy, style and readability, recommending changes where necessary.
• Writing articles on one’s own, and working in conjunction with other writers, assigning story ideas, and preparing news and general feature articles for publication.
• Reading proofs and/or supervising the proofreading of materials.
• Maintaining professional relationship with outside contributors.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
• Sound knowledge of Mongolian political and economic system.
• Knowledge of and skill in Mongolian language required for editing and proofing of written material.
• Knowledge of publication technology, policies and procedures.
• Skill in organizing work and meeting deadlines.
• Ability to effectively communicate.
• The ability to work effectively with people from culturally diverse backgrounds.
Minimum Qualifications
• Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, English or related field AND four years of experience in editing, journalism or editorial research; OR,
• Four years of progressively responsible experience at least in editing, journalism or editorial research; OR,
• Any equivalent combination of experience, training and/or education.

If you possess the above qualifications, please submit your letter of interest along with your CV/Resume, and letter of reference from your previous employer no later than November 5, 2007 to ubpost@mongolnews.mn

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

0

New workstation

Today we welcomed a new super-performance computer in our newsroom (Lenovo) that can be used as a workstation for news design stage. We are expecting the company would provide us two additional computers in the near future. If any business that is interested in selling desktop computer to us in exchange for placing advertisement on the newspaper, The UB Post, we are glad to hear.

0

Mongolia signs Millennium Challenge Compact Agreement

US President Bush signs agreement with President of Mongolia N.Enkhbayar

Millennium Challenge Corporation reported:

Washington, D.C. — The Millennium Challenge Corporation today signed a five-year, nearly $285 million, foreign assistance package with Mongolia designed to reduce poverty by stimulating economic growth. The ceremony took place in the White House’s Roosevelt Room and was the agreement was signed by President George W. Bush and President Nambaryn Enkhbayar of Mongolia.

“The Millennium Challenge Account is an important part of our foreign policy. It's an opportunity for the United States and our taxpayers to help countries that fight corruption, that support market-based economies, and that invest in the health and education of their people,” President Bush said before signing the Compact. “The Millennium Challenge Compact encourages countries to make a firm commitment to basic principles, principles that mean the government will listen to their people and respond to the needs of the people.”

“Mongolia has worked with MCC to develop a strong program that will reduce poverty in a meaningful and sustained way,” Ambassador John Danilovich, MCC’s CEO said. “The goal is to increase economic opportunities for the poorest Mongolians and our $285 million Compact will do exactly that by focusing on transportation, property rights, education and health.”

Mongolian President Enkhbayar said “Approval of the MCC Compact agreement with Mongolia by its Board of Directors was one of the most significant events of Mongolia’s foreign affairs of this year. All Mongolian people are excited about the signing of the agreement and its subsequent implementation”

MCC’s Compact with Mongolia will invest in improving the efficiency and capacity of the country’s critical rail system, the backbone of Mongolia’s economy. MCC is also working with Mongolia to improve the ability of Mongolians to register and obtain clear title to their land, reform the vocational education system to meet the demands of the market, and improve the health and well-being of the labor force by reducing non-communicable diseases and injuries.

“Mongolia also appreciates and upholds the principle of aid with accountability and ownership advocated by the government of the United States,” President Enkhbayar said at the Compact’s signing.

“I congratulate the incredible efforts of the government and the people of Mongolia who have worked with diligence and determination to reach this point, and look forward to building on this dynamic partnership as we move ahead to implement our agreement,” Ambassador Danilovich said.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

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A picture on the web site of the United Nations wrongly captioned name of Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs N. Enkhbold as a Prime Minister of Mongolia M.Enkhbold.

Monday, October 8, 2007

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One of every two Mongolians have mobile telephone

The first mobile telephone service provider was set up in Mongolia ten years ago. Now the country's telecommunication industry has four private operator companies, Mobicom, Skytel, Unitel and G-Mobile, two GSM and two CDMA operators as well as giant state-run Mongolia Telecom company.

According to a report on today's daily newspaper, Unuudur, 980,000 people or one of every two Mongolians have a cell phone.

Mobicom: 665,000 subscribers
Skytel: 215,000 subscribers
Unitel: 10,000 subscribers
G-Mobile: 2,400 subscribers

Monday, October 1, 2007

0

Life



Life and Death

Thursday, September 27, 2007

0

Ivanhoe Taking Mongolian Journalists to America

A fellow press friend of mine (not UB Post's) today has got US visa stamped. A media delegation from Ulaanbaatar's four televisions and four Mongolian-language private daily newspapers is traveling to America in October at the cost of Ivanhoe Mines to visit mining fields in Utah. The people, who visited America at the cost of Ivanhoe Mines, would write or broadcast "favorable" stories for the Ivanhoe before its investment agreement on world-scale copper and gold project Oyu Tolgoi is being discussed at the parliament, obviously. The UB Post may not have accepted offers of free foreign trip or accommodation in order to write story. The UB Post has no record of accepting free foreign trip from special business interest groups.

The parliament will discuss the multi-billion dollar agreement with its autumn session which will be resumed on October 1. The different parliament working groups of law-makers are now on visit to six foreign countries including USA and Australia to research mining agreements.

In the other event, Asia Pacific Forum on Mining & Minerals, a high-level international forum on mining and minerals, is taking place on September 30 in Vancouver, Canada, in which Vancouver-based Ivanhoe Mines' Chair Robert Friedland will participate as a key speaker.
According to Mining Association of British Columbia, A.Enkbat, Director General of Sustainable Development and Strategic Planning of the Government of Mongolia was invited as a country representative to attend the event.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

3

FIFA President visits Mongolia







Joseph Blatter, the President of FIFA, and Mohamed Bin Hammam, Chairman of the FIFA Goal Bureau and AFC, visited Ulaanbaatar on September 23-24.

Blatter officially inaugurated the third stage of the Goal Project in Mongolia. The purpose of the visit was to review the progress of Mongolian Football Federation's Goal Project. He attended a foundation ceremony for the construction of indoor stadium of 5,000 seats that will be built in Yarmag, Ulaanbaatar. The construction is scheduled to be completed on October 2009, when Mongolian Football Federation celebrates its 50th Anniversary.

The President of Mongolia N.Enkhbayar received the visiting FIFA President and awarded him Order of AltanGadas (Polar Star), the highest state prize. More details will be available on this week's UB Post.

Photos by B.Byamba-Ochir

Thursday, September 20, 2007

0

Day off tomorrow

All newsrooms of the Mongol News are "moving" to UB-2 hotel at the Terelj National Park tomorrow. We hope we will enjoy wonderful days away from hard work.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

0

Malaysia- Is it a good destination to learn English?

A fellow press friend of mine yesterday asked me which country, Malaysia or Singapore, is good destination to learn English. I advised her to study in Singapore, where I studied English too five years ago, a safe country that has strict rule of law. Malaysia is a country where an innocent Mongolian woman was shot to death and exploded into pieces by military-use C4 explosive fastened to her body. I will say this sentence to everybody asked me about Malaysia. This will be recalled for the people of Mongolia every time we think of Malaysia.

Malaysia is no longer a destination for Mongolians either to study or travel. I heard a number of Mongolians going Malaysia to study has been decreased a lot since last year when our beloved mother of two was killed in a jungle outside KL.

I have been to Malaysia actually, when I was studying in Singapore. I remember that when I was under passport control at the Singapore-Malaysia border, a Malay passport controller smiled at me and told me "Bat Khaan! Genghis Khan!". He said something to his fellow customs officers in Malaysian and told me "Welcome to Malaysia!". My first impression on the country of Malaysia had this wonderful start. I felt like I was the first Mongolian coming to Malaysia. We will not hear this nice welcoming from a passport controller of Russia now, a country what we believed as "brother in steel friendship" for over 70 years in the past under Soviet ally.

At that time, how come we know of a Mongolian woman will be killed in this country brutally and her entrance record will be deleted from immigration database.

0

Razak to go under eye surgery

Malaysian media outlets have reported that Abdul Razak Baginda, the man who is charged abetting murder of a Mongolian woman Altantuya, to go under eye surgery. And, because of that the trial was postponed again which was scheduled to resume early this week.

“He has gone through so much these last few months. And now this comes along,” Malay Mail quoted from Mazlinda Makhzan, wife of Abdul Razak Baginda, whose name sounded like Makhchin in Mongolian language which means "Carnivore" woman.

“All I know was that Razak was suffering from teary eyes of late. I don’t want to provide inaccurate information to the Press."
What a bloody lie! People of Mongolia will not wish a good success for his eye surgery, obviously. Who cares whether he becomes a blind or his close powerful "friends" destroys him with C4 explosive before everything is cleared at the Malaysian trial. I think those most disgusting people on the globe just wanted to live for some day at least before they get capital punishment. All I believe now is Malaysian judicial system would approve value of justice and honor.

Malaysian media publications are covering the murder trial from the angle of/or in favor of Baginda's side, not accurately balanced, which is unacceptable for good journalism.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

0

Mongolia Investment Forum


Mongolia Investment Forum 2007, the second annual conference of this year, was held in Ulaanbaatar. Over 300 delegates from around 20 countries have attended the event, which was co-organized by Foreign Investment and Foreign Trade Agency of Mongolia (FIFTA) and Euromoney Conferences.
The UB Post will publish a detailed article on this week's edition. We participated in the conference for the second time as a sole media partner from Mongolia. The previous one was held last spring in New York City, USA.

Friday, September 14, 2007

2

The UB Post on BBC Monitoring

The UB Post stories can be found at BBC Monitoring Online Database, which covers reports from open sources in over 150 countries across the globe. This week's front page story can be found at FreeRealtime.com supplied by the BBC.

0

Web site

The web site of UB Post is up and running now. Yesterday, the US Embassy in Ulaanbaatar stated that the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation approved on September 12 a five-year, nearly US$285 million Millennium Challenge Compact with Mongolia to reduce poverty of the country though economic growth.

The Compact with Mongolia will invest in improving the efficiency and capacity of the country’s critical rail system, the backbone of Mongolia’s economy. MCC is also working with Mongolia to improve the ability of Mongolians to register and obtain clear title to their land, reform the vocational education system to meet the demands of the market, and improve the health and well-being of the labor force by reducing non-communicable diseases and injuries.

“I congratulate the people and government of Mongolia,” Ambassador John Danilovich, MCC’s CEO said. “They have made a tremendous effort to make this Compact a reality. We are excited to partner with them to accelerate Mongolia’s economic growth.”

“Our partnership with Mongolia will have a significant impact on Mongolians living in poverty by enabling them to take advantage of the opportunities created by the MCC Compact, particularly in the transportation, land, education, and health sectors,” Ambassador Danilovich said.

The rail and health projects, for instance, are expected to have economy-wide impact. In addition, the Health, Vocational Education and Property Rights Projects of the Compact are expected to reach over 1.5 million direct beneficiaries.

With the approval of Mongolia’s Compact, MCC now has compacts with 15 partner countries in Africa, Central America, Eurasia and the Pacific, totaling nearly US$4.9 billion.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

0

Web site

Many of our online news readers may wonder why the UB Post web site not working, especially before the Mongolian Investment Forum 2007. We strongly apologize for what we always in problem with the web server. Currently, we are locating our server on another server. http://www.mongolnews.mn/ubpost/index.php should work at the time. Our ubpost.mongolnews.mn domain will be retrieved as soon as possible, I hope.

Friday, September 7, 2007

1

First working day

I'm back in the office today. The day started as usual, reading daily newspapers before morning editorial hearing. This is S.Shaariibuu's interview published today on Odriin Sonin daily newspaper. "The children of my diseased daughter depressed," headline says. Shaariibuu said Baginda's wife threatened him when he was in Malaysia during the court hearing. She was found proudly wearing T-shirt that said "Mrs. Razak Baginda" and on the back was written: "And Proud of It."

He said "I believe that the country of Malaysia would prove value of democracy before the mankind only if Malaysian judicial system solved it just."

Personally, I think these people, Baginda and his family, including the two police officers, are the most disgusting people on the globe as same as those terrorists who killed thousands of people on September 11, 2001 by using civilian airplane as missiles.

Who authorizes those people to use airplane as missiles? Who authorizes those people to use military explosives to kill an innocent woman?

Mongolians hate Baginda and his family the most as well as those police officers with covered faces throughout the trial. Those people should not step on the soil of Mongolia, should not even look straight to the eyes of us. Hate these people.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

2

New Projects

Actually, I'm now on holiday, out of office until September 10. During the holiday, since being free at home, I'm working on a web site project http://www.nutag.mn/, a small community web site for Mongolians in Ulsan, South Korea. Also, translating a bestselling feng shui book author Lillian Too's book "168 Feng Shui Ways to a Calm and Happy Life" into Mongolian language.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

1

Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement to be discussed

Investment agreement on Oyu Tolgoi project, world scale copper-gold mine, and Tavan Tolgoi project, high-grade coking coal mine, are now to be discussed today and tomorrow at the Standing Committee on Economics of the State Great Hural (Parliament) of Mongolia. The agreement soon to be agenda of Parliament discussion next week. Look for more details on the UB Post's this week.

Monday, August 6, 2007

1

Mongolian Red Tape Index 2006

Judiciary authorities topped Mongolian Red Tape Perception Index-2006, according to an annual survey by Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) last week.

MNCCI named 16 public sectors and institutions by their obstacles faced by both local and foreign traders in Mongolia. These obstacles include corruption, bribery, regulation, paperworks, internal communication and organizational structure, misrule of law, pressure, blackmail, lack of quality service, and ethics and communication skills of staff.

1. Judiciary authorities 106.0
2. Immovable Property Registration Authority 104.9
3. Traffic Police Department 103.8
4. State Center of Citizen’s Registration and Information 102.6
5. City and district-level administration 100.9
6. Land authorities 100.1
7. Police 98.9
8. Prosecutors 98.7
9. State Professional Inspection Agency 97.9
10. Taxation authorities 97.7
11. Customs authorities 97.6
12. MIAT Mongolian airlines 96.2
13. National Center of Standartization and Measurement 94.0
14. Railway authority 90.0
15. Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority 86.9
16. FIFTA (Foreign Investment and Foreign Trade Agency) 85.8

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

1

Mongolian Parliamentarians Earn Less than Spouses

No public figure in Mongolia holds a mineral license, except one deputy minister, and seven members of Parliament own no car. These are among the facts revealed to the public as the Anticorruption Agency of Mongolia last Monday released to the media the personal income statements of 110 high-ranking public figures for 2006.

According to the information made public by the agency, most members of Parliament earned less than their spouse. The law does not allow MPs to have a private business entity. These are thus registered in the name of some other member of the family. Some deputy ministers of the cabinet earn more than the minister.

President N.Enkhbayar earned Tg121.9 million last year while his family discloses zero income. He owns an apartment valued around Tg35 million and 28 horses worth Tg10 million. He does not own any mining license, savings, land, credit, debt, shares, automobile, or commercial property.

Prime Minister M.Enkhbold stated he earned Tg3.2 million last year while his wife earned Tg24.2 million. He has 65 horses valued at Tg65 million and owns a small number of shares in Gobi Cashmere, Ulaanbaatar Hotel, Zoos Bank, Genco Tour Bureau, Auto Impex and Zoos Goyol companies valued at a total Tg113.4 million.

Speaker of Parliament D.Lundeejantsan earned Tg11.7 million, has 18 horses and owns savings of Tg55 million and Tg442 million in real estate.
MP D.Bat-Erdene earned Tg157.2 million while his family members earned Tg569 million last year. He has a Range Rover worth Tg149 million, 155 horses, and Tg500 million in savings. He fully owns Ajnai Corporation, and is the majority shareholder in three other companies. He also owns 21,404 shares of Tavan Tolgoi coal mine.

MP B.Bat-Erdene, a national wrestling champion, earned Tg7.1 million while his family members earned Tg12.6 million last year. He has 1,770 livestock mostly sheep and goats, a Toyota Land Cruiser 100 and a Suzuki Grand Vitara. He owns 10 percent share of Aero Mongolia and 51 percent share of Vitafit beverage company.

MP Su.Batbold earned Tg3.5 million while his family members earned Tg47.6 million last year. He has one Toyota Lexus 470 and one Nissan Patrol jeep. He owns Tg7.6 billion worth share in Boroo Gold mine, Altai Trading, Skytel, and Altai Holding companies.

Kh.Battulga, Chairman of the Democratic Union, earned Tg18.7 million last year. He has 22 horses, one Cadillac, one Hummer jeep, one Nissan Infiniti, and one Toyota Runner. He owns shares worth Tg11.2 billion in Makh Impex, Genco Tour, Talkh Chikher, and Bayangol Hotel.

MP G.Batkhuu earned Tg161.1 million last year. He has around 500 head of cattle, one Mercedes Benz S350, and one Toyota Land Cruiser V8 jeep. He owns 50 percent of the Shunkhlai Group and seven patent rights.

MP S.Bayartsogt earned Tg191.4 million. He has one Toyota Lexus LX470, one Lexus GX470 and one Mercedes Benz 240 valued Tg200 million. He has Tg57.8 million worth savings, and owns 100 percent of the Nido company.

MP D.Gankhuyag has the most number of livestock, 3,981, mostly sheep and goats. He earned Tg80 million last year, and owns 24.4 percent share of the Bridge group.

MP L.Gundalai, Chairman of Popular Party, earned Tg3 million while his wife earned Tg74 million last year. He has one Toyota Land Cruiser jeep, one Mercedes Benz car, six motor boats, three horses. The former Minister of Health owns Tg500 million worth of shares of SOS Medica Hospital.

D.Tuya, Minister of Health, earned Tg159.2 million. She has 160 animals and owns 14,560 shares in Ulaanbaatar Hotel and 33 percent of Petrovis oil import company values totally at Tg402 million.

M.Sonompil, Minister of Defense, earned Tg2.5 million last year while his family members did Tg31.4 million. He has two cars and owns 50 percent of Zaluu Mongol company.

D.Terbishdagva, Minister of Food and Agriculture, earned Tg40.3 million. He has Tg10.4 billion worth real estates including two commercial properties, and four land. He owns three business companies including TBD Anduud.

MP Ch.Ulaan earned Tg2.6 million last year. He has Tg9.9 million savings and 20 horses values at Tg17.7 million.

MP A.Tsanjid, former minister of education, who owns 70 percent of Soyombo Institute, earned Tg8.7 million last year.

Ts.Tsengel, Minister of Road, Transport and Tourism, earned Tg3.8 million last year. He owns total of Tg5.1 billion worth shares including 4 percent share of Energy Resource coal mining consortium.

MP B.Jargalsaikhan, Chairman of Republican Party and former Minister of Industry and Trade, earned Tg33 million, has Tg21 billion worth real estates, three cars, and owns Buyan Cashmere company. Ts.Davaadorj, Minister of Industry and Trade, earned Tg4.8 million last year, has three jeeps.

MP M.Zorigt reported the highest income among all. He earned Tg211.2 million last year mostly from his 33.34 percent his share in Bodi International company.

MP S.Otgonbayar, Minister of Emergency, earned Tg20.9 million last year. He owns 51 percent share (Tg4.5 billion share) of Oyunii Undraa company.

MP L.Odonchimed, former Minister of Labor and Welfare, earned Tg4.3 million last year while his family members earned Tg5.2 million. He owns Tg78 million worth real estates. He has no savings, vehicle, license or land.

MP Ts.Sharavdorj earned Tg6.8 million. He has two cars and one truck, 260 livestock, 2.3 billion worth loan to Ulaanbaatar City Bank and a US Bank. He owns two lands valued at Tg550 million. He has also Tg2.1 billion worth real estates.

B.Erdenebat, Minister of Fuel and Energy, owns Tg17.2 billion worth share in Erel company, Erel Bank, Erel Daatgal insurance and Barilga Ord companies. He has the most number of vehicles. He has seven vehicles: two Mercedes Benz 500, one Lexus 470 jeep, two Land Cruiser 100L jeeps, and two Hummer jeeps; H1 and H2 valued at Tg325 million in total. He earned Tg3.2 million while his family members earned Tg66.3 million last year.

M.Enkhsaikhan, Deputy Premier of Mongolia, is the only person who did not state how much he earned last year. He stated his family members earned Tg1 million last year.

O.Enkhtuvshin, Minister of Education, Culture and Sciences, who earned Tg3.1 million, has Tg500 million loan from Golomt Bank. He has Tg885 million worth real estates including one commercial property.

N.Enkhbold, Minister of Foreign Affairs, earned Tg3.3 million last year while his family members earned Tg18.7 million. He has Tg139.8 million loan from Newcom company.

B.Enkhmandakh, Deputy Minister of Environment, earned Tg2.7 million while his family members earned Tg24.2 million last year. He is the only person who declared that he owns a mineral license. He has a copper exploration license.

G.Shiilegdamba, Deputy Minister of Road, Transport and Tourism, earned Tg33.9 last year. He owns 40 percent share of Bayangobi Juulchin tourist camp, and 20 percent share of Ar Mongol Travel company.

Deputy Minister of Finance Ch.Ganzorig has 15 race horses, a judge of the Supreme Court A.Batsaikhan has 20 pigs, and Deputy Minister of Health A.Otgonbold has 16 dogs. Ganzorig earned Tg2.6 million last year. He has Tg757.2 million loan from Golomt Bank and a Thai bank.

J.Byambadorj, Chair of the Constitutional Court, earned Tg3.4 million last year. He has seven race horses.

P.Ochirbat, Member of the Constitutional Court, the first President of Mongolia and honored President of the National Mining Association of Mongolia, earned Tg25 million last year. He stated he owns 4 percent share of Energy Resources coal mining consortium. He owns Tg90 million worth real estate, one book patent right, one land and has Tg116.5 million loan from a US citizen.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

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Oyu Tolgoi agreement likely to be delayed until next Parliament session

Google Earth image of Oyu Tolgoi project site. (Latitude: 43° 0'32.40"N, Longtitude: 106°50'24.00"E)
The Parliament of Mongolia is likely to delay the discussion of draft investment agreement to be signed between the Government of Mongolia and Canadian Ivanhoe Mines company until after its autumn session. Workers of the Oyu Tolgoi project site made a peaceful protest outside the Parliament House on Monday demanding to discuss the agreement without delay.

Monday, July 30, 2007

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Kuwaitian Emir Visits Mongolia


The President of Mongolia N.Enkhbayar met with visiting Emir of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, today at the State House. The President Enkhbayar discussed possibility of deepening economic and trade links especially on oil, natural gas usage, and meat export to Kuwait and Middle East countries. Two leaders talked about process of Middle East peace talks, Iranian nuclear program, and Iraqi reconstruction.

Mongolia and Kuwait signed four protocols on trade, education, telecommunication, culture, science and technology after an hour-long official talk between two leaders.

Emir Al-Sabah, who paid a visit before in 1995 in Mongolia, is currently on six-day official visit in Ulaanbaatar. He will hold official talks with the Prime Minister M.Enkhbold and Speaker of Parliament D.Lundeejantsan today at Sonjin Grand Hotel where he is staying.

The Government of Kuwait gifted US$12 million to the Government of Mongolia on building a new Parliament House last year. Mongolia established a diplomatic relation with Kuwait in June 1975. Mongolia was one of the first countries that strongly condemned Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, according to a press statement by Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Photos by B.Byamba-Ochir (Focus-MN)

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"Khaan Quest 2007" Multi-national Military Exercise Starts in Mongolia

Khaan Quest 2007 multi-national military exercise, a joint Mongolian-U.S. 4th annual military training exercise will be conducted on August 1-16 at the Tavan Tolgoi (Five Hills) Training Camp, 60 kilometers west of Ulaanbaatar.

Over 1,000 military personnels from nine countries including Bangladesh, Tonga, South Korea, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, and USA, will take part in the field exercise. Also, Russia, China and Japan will take part in the exercise as observer states.

The troops will practice peacekeeping operations like patrolling, defending convoys, setting up checkpoints, and checking in and out. The exercises will test the tolerance and strength of the soldiers.

Also, Khaan Quest 2007 Command-Post Exercise training will be held in Khan Palace Hotel in Ulaanbaatar on August 1-10. Around 120 service members from 19 member countries of the Multinational Planning Augmentation Team (MPAT) and representatives from United Nations and other non-government organizations will take part in the training.

The exercise is co-financed by Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) of the US Department of State and the Government of Mongolia. The government projected to spend MNT200 million for the training and exercise.

As part of Khaan Quest 2007, humanitarian civil assistance project will also be conducted in Ulaanbaatar by U.S. forces. Mongolian and U.S. military troops will renovate mental department of Maternity and Infant Scientific Research Hospital with US$81,000 funding from GPOI.

During the training, Admiral Timothy J. Keating, the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, and General John F. Goodman, the Commanding General of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, will visit Mongolia, according to Ts.Togoo, Commander of the General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces.

After the Khaan Quest 2007 exercise, a Mongolian-Indian joint military exercise Nomadic Elephant will be conducted in Mongolia.

The members of the Mongolian Armed Forces, trained by the Khaan Quest multi-national peacekeeping exercises, go to different parts of the world on peacekeeping missions: Iraq, Kosovo, and Sierra Leone. Currently, 100 troops serving for Operation Iraqi Freedom, 21 trainers for Development Program of the Afghan National Army, 250 peacekeeping troops for UN-mandated peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone, and 11 personnel in four African countries.

Friday, July 27, 2007

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Liquid restriction imposed at Chinggis Khaan airport

From July 30 2007, all flights out of the Chinggis Khaan International Airport at the Buyant Ukhaa will impose the new cabin baggage restrictions implemented by the International Civil Aviation Organization, according to a travel advisory by the airport security.

All passengers departing are allowed only 100 ml of each particular liquid (including gel and aerosol) will be allowed in the hand luggage in a plastic bag no bigger than 1 liter. However, baby food, medicine and special liquid dietary will not be affected.

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Ulaanbaatar's Subway?

According to a web site of Ulaanbaatar's newest hotel, Corporate Hotel, located next to Bayangol Hotel and Skytel building, it said Ulaanbaatar has subway stations. What?

The Ulaanbaatar’s Convention and Exhibition Centre and MTR subway stations are within easy walking distance of the hotel. The majority of tourist attractions and business areas are easily accessible within 5 minutes drive. The 55 well-appointed guestrooms and suites are tastefully decorated in pastelcolours , with opulent wood and brass accents carrying through the hotel’s neo-classical feel.
MTR (or Mass Transit Railway) is the main rapid transit railway system in Hong Kong, opened in 1979. What would say Charterhouse Hotel in Hong Kong, who claimed:
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and MTR subway stations are within easy walking distance of the hotel. The majority of tourist attractions and business areas are easily accessible within 10 minutes drive. The 294 well-appointed guestrooms and suites are tastefully decorated in pastel colours, with opulent wood and brass accents carrying through the hotel’s neo-classical feel.
Ulaanbaatar has NO subway system. But the mayor's office of the capital city started talking to build a subway system since the city has over a million population.
Another site Ulaanbaatar Metro has totally misleading information. What can I say!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

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Kuwaitian Emir visits Mongolia

Emir of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, is visiting Ulaanbaatar on July 29-August 4. He will hold official talk with the President N.Enkhbayar, Prime Minister M.Enkhbold and Speaker of Parliament D.Lundeejantsan.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

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Oyu Tolgoi Draft Soon To Be Discussed by Parliament

I got this message through Yahoo messenger friends today.

Оюу толгойн Таван Толгойн Тогтвортой байдлын гэрээ Маргааш Хэлэлцэгдэх гэж байна. Энэ гэрээ батлагдвал Монголын толгой баячуудын эзэмших 14 хувь Хятадын Xinhua Mac Co.,Ltd зарагдахаар болж байна. Мөн л Дэлхийд нээлттэй тендерээр зарагдахаар болсон 36 хувь бас л Xinhua Mac Co.,Ltd-ийн гарт орохоор гэрээ нь хийгдсэн байна.. Залуусаа хамтдаа эх орныхоо телее нэгдэцгээе.. цаашаа тараана уу.
Meaning, Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi investment agreements are to be discussed tomorrow by Parliament, which is true. But at the same time, the Parliament may discuss to dismiss or not to dismiss the government. The message appealed young minds to join forces against the agreement. It said 36+14 percent of the Tavan Tolgoi project is to be sold to Chinese Xinhua Mac company (not sure if Xinhua is a correct spelling.)

I hope Oyu Tolgoi would not be sold to China. But when I was talking to some Americans at the US Embassy some years ago, they were laughing "It will be the darkest day in the history of Mongolia when Oyu Tolgoi is sold to China."

Many civil movements and parliament-seated opposition political forces stand against this investment agreement. On Monday, activists of the Resolute Reform Movement, National Soyombo Movement, protested outside the Ivanhoe's representative office in Ulaanbaatar, and pushed a minibus upside down after their megaphone was damaged by an officer of the company.

Photo by B.Byamba-Ochir

Friday, July 20, 2007

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North Korean Kim visits Mongolia


The President of Mongolia N.Enkhbayar met with the visiting Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Kim Yong Nam, on July 20 in Ulaanbaatar.

During Kim's visit, two countries signed bilateral cooperation agreements on health, trade, marine transport, and labor force exchange. Kim laid wreath at the Statue of D.Sukhbaatar and showed honor to the Statue of Chinggis Khaan.

Kim Yong Nam is paying state visit at the invitation of the Enkhbayar from July 20 to 23. This is the first high profile state visit by North Korea after 19 years. Last time, North Korean President Kim Il Sung visited Mongolia in 1988. Kim Yong Nam, who represents North Korea on all state visits and summits and receives visiting heads of state, will meet Speaker of Parliament D.Lundeejantsan, and Minister Foreign Affairs N.Enkhbold on July 21.Kim Yong Nam visited Mongolia twice in 1985 and 1988.

Mongolia and North Korea established diplomatic relation on October 15, 1948, and opened embassies in both capital cities in 1951. North Korea shut down its embassy in Ulaanbaatar in August 1999 and reopened it after five years because of what Pyongyang termed financial reasons. It believed that North Korea closed the embassy after ex-President N.Bagabandi voiced support for then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung's "sunshine" policy toward the North during Kim's visit to Mongolia in May that year.

Photo by B.Byamba-Ochir

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

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UB Post invited again to become media partner of the Mongolia's investment forum

Institutional Investor organization Euromoney Conferences today invited the UB Post to make media partnership again for the 2nd Annual Mongolia Investors Forum, which will be staged on September 13, 2007 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Euromoney Institutional Investor has staged the 2006 Mongolia Investors Forum in UB, as well as the Mongolia Investment Forum in New York , staged in March 2007 for which the UB Post worked together as under media partnership agreement. Both events attracted a high level government delegation, as well as several hundred investors from more than 50 countries worldwide.

Euromoney said that this year’s event is expected to attract at least 700 direct and institutional investors from a variety of countries, and the Forum will be staged with a series of plenary panel sessions focusing on agriculture, financial industry, infrastructure, mining technology, and real estate.

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Photojournalist assaulted by restaurant manager, his camera broken, after taking pictures in kitchen

IFEX (International Freedom of Expression eXchange) released two press freedom alerts on Mongolia on July 11.

On 24 June 2007, the manager of Chinggis 3 restaurant in Sukhbaatar District accused S. Tuul, a photojournalist with the newspaper "Social Mirror", of taking photos in the restaurant without permission, kicked him in the head and broke his camera.

Following clients' complaints that Chinggis 3 restaurant serves food containing insects, Tuul went to the restaurant to investigate. In the restaurant's kitchen, Tuul took pictures documenting the unhygienic conditions in which the food is cooked. As the journalist was leaving the scene, Mr. Naraa, the restaurant's manager, attacked him for infringing upon the restaurant's commercial secrets.

When Tuul went to the Sukhbaatar District police station the next day to file a complaint, Ts. Gankhuyag, chief of the Case Registration Desk, did not accept his complaint under the pretext of being on a lunch break. On 26 June, the journalist's complaint was rejected under another pretext. On 27 June, Ts. Gankhuyag again refused to file the complaint, yelling: "Why do you journalists take pictures wherever you want?"

Article 6.1 of Chapter 1 of the Law on Organization Secrets prohibits concealing information that reveals the impact of a business entity's activities, production, services, technical equipment and technologies on public health and the environment.

As a follow-up to the news story in "Social Mirror" and clients' complaints, N. Valya, inspector at the Specialized Inspection Agency of the capital city, inspected the restaurant and concluded that the it did not have a professional cook, and that the food served there does not meet basic hygienic standards. The inspector temporarily suspended the restaurant's operating license.
This restaurant is located near the Children's Creativity Center. But I'm not sure which one is that, there are two Chinggis. Also, Odriin Sonin (Daily News) reported its photojournalist was assaulted by mother-in-law of the President of Mongolia at the Central Stadium.
On 6 July 2007, six members of Mongolian National Public Radio and TV's (MNPRTV) Collective Board obtained the legal permission for a hunger strike and went to hospital for a health test. According to the Collective Board's statement, the hunger strike was to be staged to call for the dismissal of MNPRTV's National Board (the broadcaster's governing body). The board is alleged to have repeatedly violated the law on public service broadcasting, undermined the independence of the MNPRTV editor's office and violated journalists' professional rights.

The Collective Board members held a press conference on 12 June to talk about inadequate implementation of the Law on Public Radio and TV, which came into force on 1 July 2005, leading to substantial changes in the policy of Mongolian Public Radio and TV. In response, MNPRTV's management convened a press conference to counter the Collective Board. While covering these two press conferences, MNPRTV's "MM" Agency deleted and distorted parts of the Collective Board's press conference, and only broadcast MNPRTV management's views in detail. On the day after "MM" Agency's programme, the MNPRTV Editor's Office for Social and Economic Programmes failed to broadcast its interview with the Collective Board and instead ran a biased news story, as prescribed by Director-General M. Naranbaatar.

As a result of the ongoing dispute between MNPRTV's Collective Board and its National Board, which began in 2006, Collective Board members began their hunger strike on 14 June 2007. The dispute heated up when the professional skills test conducted among MNPRTV personnel led to the firing of over 40 people.

In response to the strike, MNPRTV's National Board revoked the MNPRTV General Director's decision to fire a large number of journalists on the pretext of poor test results. On 27 June, L. Ninjjamts, who was appointed chief of the broadcaster's Human Resources Department without any regard to established selection procedures, was also dismissed by the National Board. Ninjjamts is considered by the Collective Board to be the initiator of the mass firings. The Collective Board judged these actions to fall short of their demands and continued their strike.

Parliament set up a working group to look into the events surrounding the strike. The National Board and Collective Board engaged in bilateral consultations to resolve their outstanding differences.

On 8 July 2007, the six members of MNPRTV's Collective Board ceased their hunger strike. Globe International NGO and the Trade Union helped the National Board and Collective Board reach a deal that led to the cessation of the hunger strike.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

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Nambaaryn Enkhbayar

Lotte Hotel, Seoul. This banner looks like it misspelled names of the President and First Lady of Mongolia. Nambaaryn Enkhbayar should be Nambaryn Enkhbayar and Onogniin Tsolmon should be Onongiin Tsolmon. The President visited South Korea in May, 2007.

Photo by Sh.Batmonkh

Monday, July 16, 2007

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Volunteer

Today, we accepted Alexander Kay's (UK) volunteer application, who is interested in helping in editing and proofreading stage of the newspaper production. He was a deputy editor of Oxford Student newspaper. Also, we said goodbye to Madeleine Beresford (UK) today who has helped us a lot during her two-month period.
Tomorrow we will welcome a new volunteer Anna-Katharina from University of Vienna, Austria. Anyone who is interested in volunteering for The UB Post, please look for a section, Volunteer Opportunity.

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Newsroom Wishlist: AP Stylebook

Our former English Editor Deirdre Tynan, created a user access to the online AP style guide for us at The UB Post on July 10. Thank you Deirdre! This is very helpful for us. So, one of our newsroom wishlist is solved. We used to have a hardcopy of the AP Stylebook 2000. But it was lost when we moved to here some years ago. We were using electronic version (PDF) of the 2000 edition that Robin Pairman downloaded from somewhere on the Internet since it was lost. Now, I restarted compiling The UB Post's own stylebook with the latest Mongolian names and terms. We welcome your entries.

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North Korean top official visits UB

Kim Yong Nam, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), will visit Ulaanbaatar at the invitation of the President of Mongolia N.Enkhbayar on July 20-23, according to a press release by MFA.

This is the first high profile state visit by North Korea after 19 years. Last time, "Eternal President" of the North Korea Kim Il Sung visited Mongolia in 1988. Kim Yong Nam, who represents North Korea on all state visits and summits and receives visiting heads of state, will meet with the President N.Enkhbayar, Speaker of Parliament D.Lundeejantsan, and Prime Minister M.Enkhbold.

Pyongyang-based Korean Central News Agency reported on July 12:

Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, will soon pay an official good-will visit to Mongolia at the invitation of its President Nambariin Enkhbayar. He will also make similar visits to Algeria and Ethiopia.

Janchivdorjyn Lomvo, Mongolian ambassador to the DPRK, hosted a reception on July 11 on the occasion of the 86th anniversary of the victory of the Mongolian people's revolution [Naadam holiday].

Present there on invitation were Choe Thae Bok, chairman of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, Kim Wan Su, director of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland who is chairman of the DPRK-Mongolia Friendship Parliamentary Group, Mun Jae Chol, acting chairman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, and others. Speeches were made there.
I think I'm going to cover this visit. Earlier, during Naadam holiday, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) Lim Chae-jung visited Mongolia and met with the President Enkhbayar, talked about Northeast Asian regional security including the North Korean nuclear issues.

Just two months ago, Enkhbayar visited South Korea in May and met with Lim Chae-jung in Seoul. They talked about inter-Korean railroad relinking project across the Korean peninsula.

Seoul-based Yonhap News reported on June 1:
"Particularly if the railroad relinking project moves forward, it is expected to pass through Mongolia. That will make great contributions to the development of bilateral economies," Enkhbayar said. Lim expressed gratitude for Mongolia's support of South Korea's policy on the North.
I wonder how this railroad pass through Mongolia. Mongolia is the only country in the world that maintains friendly relations with both North and South Korea.

North Korea shut down its embassy in Ulaanbaatar in August 1999 and reopened it after five years because of what Pyongyang termed financial reasons. It believed that North Korea closed the embassy after ex-President N.Bagabandi voiced support for then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung's "sunshine" policy toward the North during Kim's visit to Mongolia in May that year.

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New 7 Wonders of the World

The New 7 Wonders of the World were announced during the Official Declaration ceremony on July 7, 2007 (07.07.07) in Lisbon, Portugal.

Brazil's Statue of Christ Redeemer, Peru's Machu Picchu, Mexico's Chichen Itza pyramid, the Great Wall of China, Jordan's Petra, the Colosseum in Rome and India's Taj Mahal were named the new Seven Wonders of the World.

None from Mongolia, a nation that has ever built the largest empire on the globe during the 13th century stretching from Baltic to Yellow Sea, from Arctic to Indian Oceans. How many architectural masterpieces have we built? This is a disadvantage of the nomadic civilization we have compared to a settled civilization. But I think two of them are related to us, Mongolia.
First, of course, the Great Wall of China. US President Richard Nixon said during his China visit at Badaling, the Great Wall of China.

"This is a Great Wall and only a great people with a great past could have a great wall and such a great people with a such a great wall will surely have a great future."
B.Rinchen (1905-1977), an academician, great philologist, and linguist of Mongolia, said in return during his China visit at Badaling.
"Only the people with greater past could have made them to build this wall and such great people with such the greater past will surely have the greatest future." [unofficial translation]
You can find this quote as a foreword on the Baabar's History of Mongolia. Surely, China built this wall to protect themselves against the threat from their northern neighbor.

Second is Taj Mahal, built by a Mongolian Emperor. Indian historians still assert that the Moghul Kingdom, which was reining India for over centuries, had a Mongolian origin.
It was built by the Moghul Emperor, Shah Jahan, in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 22 years (1631 to 1653) by 20,000 artisans brought to India from all over the world.
Once, a visiting Mongolian President at the Taj Mahal amazed to see similarity of top part of the Mongolian Soyombo symbol and finial of the Taj Mahal: moon, sun and flame.
Even now you can see Mongolian names like "Esonzev" ( nine knives ) at the wall of the Kings Palace which is 5 km from the Taj Mahal. The shape of wall of the Palace is reminiscent of Mongolian ger decorations.

Now, New7Wonders.com is accepting nominations for New 7 Wonders of Nature. I nominated Mongolia's Yoliin Am (or Eagle Valley) and Uvs Lake. Nominate yours.

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Mongolia on Al Jazeera TV

Today, we are back in the office after Naadam holiday. Al Jazeera sent me an URL to the story posted on YouTube. I helped this video crew from Al Jazeera English to arrange the interviews, contacts, and take these shots. Good shots Tony!
(Desertification erodes Mongolian livelihoods - 11 Jul 07)

(Mongolia: First Person)

Monday, July 9, 2007

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Al Jazeera journalists are on mission here

I'm guiding visiting TV crew from Qatar-based Al Jazeera English TV, who are doing 1/2 program on Mongolian upcoming Naadam festival. The program will be featured by interviews with mining companies, NGO activist, university professor and international organization leaders. Unfortunately, Mongolian politicians did not want to give interview to Al Jazeera, which I think it would have been a great opportunity for them to get exposure all over the world....which frankly speaking Mongolian politicians don't get that often! The program will be aired live on July 11, and 100 million people are estimated to watch.
Mongolia has no chance to watch the Al Jazeera channel. No any cable TVs transmit the channel, which is free they said.

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Map of main Naadam venue

Map of the main Naadam festival venue, Central Stadium. We got the source picture file from the Visitor Tourist Information Center, and we added those signs, which I think would be helpful to visiting tourists.

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National Naadam Festival, the 801st anniversary of the Great Mongolian State program

July 10, Tuesday

7:30am-9:30am, Daaga race for two years old horses at Khui Doloon Khudag (venue for horse racing)
10:00am, Khalkh Archery at the archery stadium.
11:00am, “Mongolian traditional fine arts” opening ceremony of the painting exhibition at the exhibition hall of Union of Mongolian Artists.
11:00am, Anklebone shooting competition at anklebone tent.
11:00am-01:30pm, Khyazaalan race for 4 years of horses at the Khui Doloon Khudag
11:40am-12:00 noon, Wreath laying ceremony at the statue of D. Sukhbaatar, and the ceremony of showing respect to the great Chinggis Khaan statue.
03:00pm, The Naadam Commemorative concert in celebration of National Naadam Festival, the 801st Anniversary the Great Mongolian State and the 86th Anniversary of the Mongolian People’s Revolution at Central Culture Palace.

July 11, Wednesday

9:00am-11:30am, Azarga, Stallion Race at the Khui Doloon Khudag.
11:00am, Welcoming Ceremony of the State White Banners into Central Stadium.
11:10am, President of Mongolia N.Enkhbayar opens the ceremony of National Naadam Festival, the 801st Anniversary of the Great Mongolian State, and the 86th Anniversary of the Mongolian People’s Revolution.
11:20am, Opening performance of National Naadam Festival. (separate program)
11:30am, Anklebone shooting at the anklebone tent.
11:50am-03:00pm, 1st round of National Wrestling at the Central Stadium.
01:00pm, Semi-final competition of Anklebone shooting at the anklebone tent.
01:00pm-04:00pm, 1st round of Boys Wrestling.
01:30pm-04:00pm, Soyolon Race for 5 year old horses at the Khui Doloon Khudag
02:00pm, Khasaa Archery at the Archery Stadium.
03:20-06:00pm, 2nd round of the National Wrestling.
04:20pm-06:00pm, 2nd round of the Boys Wrestling.
10:00pm-11:00pm, “Ulaanbaatar’s Night” public open-air show at the Sukhbaatar Square.
11:00pm, Naadam Festival Fireworks.

July 12, Thursday
07:00am-10:00am, Ikh Nas, Race for over 6 year old horses at the Khui Doloon Khudag.
09:00am, Khasaa Archery at the Archery Stadium.
09:30am-11:00am, 3rd Round of the National Wrestling.
10:00am-11:00am, 3rd Round of the Boys Wrestling.
10:00am, Final Round of Archery Competition at the Archery Stadium.
11:00am-01:30pm, Shudlen Race for 3 year old horses at Khui Doloon Khudag.
11:20am-12:40pm, 4th Round of National Wrestling.
11:20am-12:30pm, 4th round of Boys Wrestling.
02:10pm-02:30pm, Archery show of 8 outstanding national archers at the national stadium.
02:30, Award Ceremony of the Anklebone shooters at the Anklebone tent.
02:30pm-03:10pm, 5th Round of National Wrestling.
03:20pm-04:00pm, 6th Round of National Wrestling.
03:20pm-04:20pm, 5th Round of Boys Wrestling.
04:00pm, Praise for Award horses.
04:10pm, Presentation of gifts to jockeys by N.Enkhbayar, President of Mongolia.
04:30pm, Award Ceremony of winning archers and ankle-bone shooters by N.Enkhbayar, President of Mongolia.
04:10pm-04:50pm, 7th Round of National Wrestling.
04:30pm-05:00pm, 6th Round of Boys Wrestling.
05:00pm-05:20pm, Award Ceremony for Wrestlers to be awarded ’Nachin’, and ‘Khartsaga ’wrestling titles by N.Enkhbayar, President of Mongolia.
17:30pm-06:20pm, 8th Round of National Wrestling.
06:20pm-06:45pm, Award Ceremony for Wrestlers to be awarded ‘Zaan’ wrestling titles by N.Enkhbayar, President of Mongolia.
06:45pm-07:15pm, 9th Round of National Wrestling.
06:15pm-07:45pm, 7th Round of Boys Wrestling.
07:45pm-08:00pm, President of Mongolia N.Enkhbayar presents awards to the wrestling champions Naadam festival at the Central Stadium.
08:05pm, President of Mongolia N.Enkhbayar closes the ceremony of National Naadam Festival, the 801st Anniversary of the Great Mongolian State, and the 86th Anniversary of the Mongolian People’s Revolution Closing speech of National Naadam Festival.
08:1pm, Closing Ceremony of the National Naadam Festival and welcoming back of the State White Banners to the Government house building (separate program).


July 13, Friday
11:00am, Horse-trainers’ festival “Khui Doloon Khudag”at the horse race venue (separate program)

as provided by the organizing committee of Naadam Festival

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

1

F*ck You, Minister!


Front page of today's Odriin Sonin, a largest circulated Mongolian language daily newspaper. An award-winning opinion leader of the newspaper,B.Ganchimeg, gave the headline "F*ck you, Minister!", which I found shocking. The journalist said that ministers of the government should rip off their high-handed lower-ranking officials from the state institutions.

Monday, July 2, 2007

1

President vs Odriin Sonin

The President of Mongolia N.Enkhbayar demanded Odriin Sonin, the largest circulated Mongolian language daily newspaper, to formally apologize.
The Press and Information Office of the President stated that the newspaper should ask apology from the President for what they have published on the newspaper, otherwise the Head of State would sue the newspaper to court.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

0

A Mongolian Migrant Worker's Story

Korea Times published a story on Mongolian migrant worker living in South Korea. I was amazed to read the worker was fellow member of our newsteam, Batmonkh. Read this.

"In Ulan Bator, where I worked as a sports writer for the UB Post, I earned less than $100 a month, but it cost $200 to live’’ explains Batmonkh.
Unfortunately, this is true, around US$100 is what a typical journalist or writer of a newspaper gets per month. About the story, generally, this is an interesting story actually. The source gave a lot of information to the writer.
But about Batmonkh, I think he should not have disclosed his private salary information publicly. In Mongolian press industry, a performance-oriented salary system works in most major publications. Those publications have no fixed amount of monthly salary to pay journalists, instead the journalists are paid by quantity and quality of what they wrote. I think this is quite fair system.

What else? Is there another source of income for Mongolian journalists?

Some journalists work as freelancers for foreign news agencies. Some tend to act as "informal" press representative of business or cultural communities.

From employers' side, a journalist gets some promotion for what if he/she can find new subscribers or advertisements for the newspaper they are working. Finding subscribers is meant to help the newspaper to grow its circulation. The more subscribers the journalist find, the more promotive bonus cash will be plus to the salary, which is quite fair I think. But this is usually done by asking "friends", who head large business enterprise or state institutions to make subscription in large numbers. The most dangerous aspect of this is that the newspaper may become a dependent to that big subscriber's interests.

About the advertisement, some employers promote the journalists to get certain percentage of advertisement payment of what they found themselves for the newspaper. Again, the big advertisers are strongly interested in not reading negative information from that newspaper, which is obvious. Such newspaper avoid to publish negative information about its contracted advertisers.

Sometimes, it is vice versa. The newspapers threaten business companies or state institutions to make subscription or to publish adverts in exchange of being "silent" about any negative information.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

0

Naadam Edition

We are planning to print a special edition for Naadam national festival on July 5. Any businesses who want to promote their business or interested in publishing Naadam greetings on the UB Post, please contact to our Ad & Sales Manager Mrs. Bolortuya at her mobile phone 99 88 9348, Deputy Editor Mrs. Bulgamaa at 91182711, or Editor in Chief Mr. Sumiyabazar at 99 129 129. Final deadline of advert is June 4.

0

New web

I finished redesigning the web site. Out IT department has erased all the news contents and user accounts created since last December when they were trying to move the site to an another dedicated server in the U.S. So, I started again. Now it's Suvdaa's job to post those news contents. But I continue working on its design little by little for improvement. Any creative ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

0

Condolence Message

We at the UB Post are deeply saddened by the death of the 15 people, firefighters and helicopter crew. We express our deep condolence to the family, relatives, and friends of these fallen heroes. They will live on in the memory of the people of Mongolia from generation to generation.

1

Batmonkh is back

Batmonkh, our journalist who has worked in South Korea for a year, is returned back to work today.

0

What Resolution Have Mongolian Socialists Approved?

This is title of Ardiin Erkh newspaper story published on June 20. The author said "could not believe what he read in Phayul.com". Also, the author quoted from U.Byambasuren, general secretary of the Mongolian Democratic Socialist Youth Union, saying "Activities of the Mongolian Democratic Socialist Youth Union, successes it achieved, are a good model for international youth organizations."

The Mongolian Democratic Socialist Youth Union gave birth to murderer, swindlers and criminals from its membership - a good model for regional youth?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

0

Does Mongolia support Tibet as independent state?

Phayul.com reported on June 18 that a "historic" resolution accepting Tibet as an independent state was passed at the Asia - Pacific Committee Meeting of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY), which was recently held in Ulaanbaatar, capital city of Mongolia, a country of predominantly Tibetan Buddhists.

Phayul said that the resolution accepted Tibet as an independent State and condemned the illegal occupation of Tibet.
The meeting, which was held from June 8 to 10, 2007, was hosted in the in the Official Meeting hall of Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Building in Ulaanbaatar.
The report said Mongolian to state officials attended the opening session of the meeting, including the host country's Minister of Foreign Affairs and deputy Speaker of Parliament, and other members of parliament.

I believe that Mongolia today supports state concept of Tibet as it is an inseperable part of People's Republic of China, however Mongolia and Tibet have deep historic cultural and religious ties dated back to over centuries. Maybe the meeting had no government links, but government and parliament delegation attended and it was hosted at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
I wonder how would Chinese embassy react to this.

The 14th Dalai Lama visited Mongolia several times in the past. Everytime he comes, MFA releases something official statement saying this visit is done by religious channel and the guest will not be engaged in any political activities. And, everytime he comes, China expresses objections by closing its railway or air links.
A five-point resolution on Tibet was then passed unanimously except, the resolution number (IV), which was objected only by the ethnic Han Chinese, Mr. Anthony Loke.

In the afternoon session of the second day, an open discussion on ‘China and engaging with the Chinese Communist Youth Organization’ was tabled. From the discussion, almost every representative objected to the idea of including China as a member of IUSY, including the chairperson himself Mr. Anthony.

During and after the meeting, the Tibetan representative met academicians from Mongolian Buddhist University and other influential personalities of the country to press them on the need to support the cause of Tibetan freedom struggle and to further relations between the youths of Mongolia and Tibetans in exile.
Following are the five points of the resolution on Tibet passed by the IUSY Asia-Pacific meeting:
1. To accept Tibet as an independent State and condemn the illegal occupation of Tibet.

2. To stop the demographic transformation policy of China which results in the large influx of Chinese into Tibet particularly after the Gormo – Lhasa Railway network.

3. To call upon the United Nations to resume the debate based on its resolution passed in 1959, 1961 and 1965 on Tibet.

4. To pressurize for the boycott of 2008 Beijing Olympic as China continue genocide in Tibet and pursue it’s imperialist ambitions threatening peace in Asia and the world at large.

5. To help restore human rights in Tibet and support the freedom movement of Tibetan people and to put pressure on China for the unconditional release of all political prisoners in Tibet including Panchen Lama and Tulku Tenzin Delek.
In 1913, Tibet and Mongolia signed a treaty proclaiming mutual recognition and their independence from China in Urga (now Ulaanbaatar).

Wikipedia said:
After the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, both Tibet and Mongolia had declared their independence under lamaist heads of states, and both had had no success in gaining official recognition from either the Republic of China or foreign powers. In the treaty, Mongolia and Tibet declared mutual recognition and allegiance.