Thursday, August 27, 2015

To US Ambassador Piper Campbell

Based on  true stories.

Piper Campbell, US Ambassador to Mongolia
The  subject would be this time about how Mongols are getting taken advantage of by representatives of our "third neighbor" USA- namely by the consular officers of the US Embassy in Mongolia . It is about those Americans who work in the consular section and whom the native Mongols despise a lot. Rumors going around from mouth to mouth, and the media deals with it too.
To be sure, let me first introduce some facts I found online before I start with mine. Unfortunately, the  materials found  are published or posted online in Mongolian , and so it would be difficult for those who  does  not  master  Mongolian language to read them. But I will do my best to translate and  give you a summary kind of thing, so to speak.

Jamiyan Galsan, a  senior journalist who is famous for his essays and writings, applied for a tourist visa to meet with a Mongolian physician who lives in the States. Jamiyan  wanted to write about this doctor's  life which was very adventurous and unique. They met once before in Mongolia. The doctor  who invited him sent all the necessary documents and Mr.Jamiyan  on his part prepared everything as required, including the proof that he was employed and had a family and all that. But his request was turned down because they thought  that he has no  "strong ties" to his homeland and might not come back. Why would a 70- year-old man leave his wife , children and home and decide to become an illegal "Alien?" What he would do? Are you serious?
- "No", wrote the journalist, saying that it is just the way how they "make money." He heard that only 6 were granted a visa from  40 applicants  in one day. The visa application fee was 100 dollars back in 2007 (today it is $160) when that poor man was denied a visa, and he  says that the US Embassy "made"  $4000 in one day. "What a business!", he was trilled.

His article can be read HERE.  Furthermore he points out that there is a Mongolian "mafia" , very well organized and run by those Mongols who work within the Embassy and the Consular section. These Mongols, hired by the Americans, are part of the chain which use the visa matter as their income source. Anyone who has the intention to stay illegally in the US after their visa expires, would look for any ways  to get a visa. They would approach those who promise a 100%-safe help to get a visa in exchange for a certain sum of the "green backs." Some years ago it was $5000, now much higher.

It is very simple: You meet those people and make a verbal agreement. They would prepare all the documents for you , fill out your application, let you pay the fee and make an interview appointment for you. They would "prepare" you for the interview, like what to say and how to behave during the interview. Then you go to the interview and, if lucky, you will be told to  come back later that day to get your passport with the visa.  You run out of the Embassy building, excited, to come back later on, but you will not get handed your passport to you. An Embassy employee (of course a Mongol) who would hand out the ready passports to their owners, will not have yours. Your passport would be already in safe hands of the people who wait for you to give your passport in exchange  for that 5 grand you promised to pay. You pay your money and get your passport back. Everybody is happy. Besides, I know personally a person who got his visa exactly the way I described above. True, it happened some years ago, but who says everything has changed for good since then?

I hope that the American officials working at the Embassy and/or in the Consular section are not involved in any such unlawful activities, but again, nobody knows  for sure. It was the case involved  the Mongols employed back then. They might be still working at the Embassy and keep doing their "business."  We might have a "Vietnamese style" operation going on in there. Who knows.  We have every right to suspect, especially if the Mongolian natives employed  have been giving any reason to smell a foul play. Let's hope not. What is a "Vietnamese style" operation? A visa chief in the consular section of the US Consulate in Vietnam, named Michael Sestak (worked 2010-2012) took bribes to approve visas to Vietnamese citizens. He pleaded  guilty to conspiracy, bribery and money laundering charges, and admitted accepting more than 3 million dollars in bribes. Of course, he couldn't do it without a help from the natives, so some Vietnamese citizens and American citizens of Vietnamese origin are involved in this scheme.

A blogger named Batkhuu O. also mentioned in his article about how strict or harsh those consular officers  handle the visa applicants, saying that 2-3 people get their visa issued while the rest of the in average 50 people a day go home "empty-handed."  The percentage of those who get a visa denied is very high.
6 out of 40 or 3 out of 50 means  85% or 94%  denial, as mentioned in the examples above.
If you believe the words said in one interview a year ago by the General Consul Robert Pope and Marissa Maurer who is the head of the Public Affairs section, given to a Mongolian newspaper, the percentage of visa denial dropped down from 70% to 50%.  As they claim, now every second applicant gets a visa issued. Wow! (Read here )

The Honorable Ambassador Campbell said that she wanted to see more Mongolian youth go to study in the US.  (This Embassy stuff is headed by Ambassador Piper Campbell who was sworn in on August 6, 2012. ) But it seems that the visa officers in the Consular section are having the opposite standpoint to what the Ambassador means. I am talking about the consular officers'  harsh approach (even rude attitude) towards the applicants who have been already studying in the US. I want to point out  here 2 cases which  caught my attention. These are true stories about which I learned through my acquaintances. One young man has been denied a visa he needed to return to his school in the US. True, he has been studying some years but hasn't been chosen yet his major or the subject he wants to pursue. So he was still searching and while doing so he attended his classes collecting the credits he would use later on. General education. He came back home to extend  his visa. The other one has been also some years but he found what he liked and pursued it for the last 3 years. Unfortunately he was negligent and skipped classes few times after an unfortunate  incident and  because of that he lost his status. He came back to Mongolia to apply for a visa so that he can continue his study. Both were denied a visa. True, for both it took some time to choose what they wanted to major in. True, a mistake was made by one of them but he wanted make it good and finish what he started. Why they were denied a visa? The reason was ridiculous: Both  had no progress in their studying!

Younger people are immature in that age and tend to be very unstable and thoughtless. And they make mistakes. But one should give them a second chance and support them instead of "slapping in their faces" and turn them down. Especially, if they wanted to correct their  errors and proceed with their goals. One should not penalize them for the errors they made. Besides, since when it became a policy that students have limited time to finish the study? What if they wanted to study further? Would a certain time limit apply to them to restrict their presence in the States even if  they want to continue to achieve higher degrees?  Are the visa officers instructed to look down at the students who study in community colleges and treat them disrespectful?  Hopefully not, but they both experienced a rude attitude on the part of those who interviewed them.  Yes, they have both a desire to get a decent education and  go on with their lives after  graduation. They knew that what they need is an education. Those boys had no intention to become "illegal Aliens" and to start working illegally to be paid "under the table." They could have stayed in the US and become illegal if they thought so, but, no, they returned home to Mongolia and applied for their visa. They wanted "play by the rule" but unfortunately they were  given the cold shoulder. Now these boys are left with nothing, one half way through, the other one almost completed his study, but both very disappointed and emotionally crushed. Not to mention all the efforts they spent and expenses invested by either their sponsors and/or parents and relatives. One can't just ruin somebody's carrier, or even life because of some minor mistakes. They were not somebody who wanted to travel to the US. They were  students whose lives will depend on what they would achieve by accomplishing their study. Everybody deserves a second chance, even criminals in prison get a chance. And the youngsters  should not be turned down and pushed away.

At last some words addressed  to the Ambassador and her stuff working under her supervision:

Hopefully what the Ambassador  states matches  with what her stuff proves in action. Hopefully your people learn to  show some respect to whoever stands in front of the window answering their  questions. We don't need and don't welcome those who does not even greet when one approaches the window to be interviewed. We don't like also those Mongols, employed by you, exercising various duties, including translation between the applicant and the visa officer, the way they behave. They should learn to be polite and show some smile and helpful instead of  showing some  face if there was put some "shit" on it, as we say.
People talk a lot, dear Ambassador, and rumors got it. With your goal to support more young people to study in the US and give the right ones the permission to travel and keep the wrong ones away, I urge you to support those who make mistakes and give them the chance to make it good. It is a "life or death" decision for  them and you guys have the power to lead the right way. Later on in their life, they would remember it and always appreciate  for your  right lead and your wise decision.

With all due respect, I would urge you to look into this matter and do what it needs to be done. Because of some irresponsible people, Americans and Mongols alike, the reputation and all your good work done for our people  should not be  harmed.  Lastly I want to mention that with this I didn't have any  ill intention and meant only to catch your attention.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
his friends were unaware
Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
nobody even cared
Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
one  chromosome too many
Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
and it determined what he could see

Gerald Casale (DEVO band, USA)
This is the lyrics of a song called "Mongoloid", written by Gerald Casale , a member of  "DEVO", an American rock band  formed in 1972 in Ohio, USA. Mongoloid is a term used to describe  people with Down's syndrome. It actually all started when  doctor, John Langdon Down (after whom Down's syndrome was named), who studied this behavior while working as medical superintendent  at  the Royal Earlswood Hospital in England ( built to house and educate those disabled people , or "idiots" as they were termed at that time), decided  to call his patients as "Mongol."   He wrote in 1866  that "...these children were a regression to a Mongolian ethnic type."

We are talking about his patients (children with Down's syndrome) who came to this institution from all over the country (England). They did not come from Mongolia. Nor there is not one official document that says there were people of Mongolian ethnicity among those patients  whom doctor Down worked with during that time (1855-1868).  How did  this doctor came up with the term "Mongol" to bring it into connection with  that syndrome?  I think, because of the Mongolian invasion back few centuries ago, the  western part of the world, which didn't suffer directly from that aggression but remained puzzled and confused with all types of  mystical  rumors  and hearings went around. Rumors exclusively depicted Mongols as wild barbarians, cannibals  with looks and characteristics hardly resembles a "normal" human being, allegedly having  certain anomalies. Doctor Down was not saved from this perception either.  What else could it be?! I am positive that doctor Down had never visited Mongolia back then (and I doubt he ever met a Mongol either), and I don't think that  there were so many children present from Mongolia, or even any intermarriages between English people and Mongolians at that time.

Long story short, this term is still being used to  describe  those with such syndrome  until today. The proof ?  What about  the song ("Mongoloid") I mentioned in the beginning, or the story of a Mongolian woman in Scotland ( read this  story HERE ) , or the movie called "The guitar Mongoloid" (in Swedish: "Gitarrmongot" ) directed by Ruben Oestlund (Sweden) in 2004 ?

Ruben Oestlund (Sweden)
Do you see what Dr.Down has done? Even though he later admitted it was a failure, the harm was done. Unfortunately, people like Gerald Casale or Ruben Oestlund  keep contributing to promote this misunderstanding by their song or  movie. What would the new generation perceive when they learn this song or watch the movie? That is how this practice is kept alive. Their products have been distributed by others too, making them  really  efficient propaganda tools. There is a German guy goes by the name "Rummelsnuff" who took DEVO's song "Mongoloid" into his song list and sings while acting like one with Down's syndrome in his video. There is also a music band called Sepultura which covers this song too. So, the list can go on.

Ruben Oestlund's movie "Gitarrmongot" was shown on the screens of film festivals, like in Moscow, Russia and recently in the US. One cannot really say how many people watched that film on those festivals and movie theaters.  So, no  wonder why this "habit"  is not "dying out."
(Watch DEVO's song  here and the cover by Rummelsnuff  here )

Mongolians at home and abroad are angry  with the fact that Ruben Oestlund's movie is on the way to be shown in the US, participating in the film festivals in different cities, and they are protesting it using all means available. This article of mine can be considered as one of them.  Some Mongolian communities abroad have sent a letter to those who directed this movie. Below is a copy of this letter:


January 16, 2015
Dear Mr. Östlund and Mr. Hemmendorff,
We are writing to you as ethnic Mongolians regarding your film “The Guitar Mongoloid”, which is being shown as part of film festivals in New York, Maryland and California.
We are deeply concerned and hurt by the use of the term “mongoloid” in the context of your film and are requesting that you change the name of the film in the nearest future, out of respect to the Mongolian people and to the international Down syndrome community.
The term “mongoloid”, referring to people with Down syndrome, was dropped by the World Health Organization in 1965 because it was and still is considered to be offensive to those of Mongol ethnicity.
Furthermore, in many countries, the word has come to be used as a term of offense. There are many campaigns around the world trying to stop the hurtful and offensive usage of “mongoloid” and to promote the original meaning, namely, “related to the culture, language and people of Mongolia.”
We do not expect you to reconsider your decision to show the film. However, we request the following:
  • That you tell the audience from today’s – Jan 16, 2015 – New York 9.15pm screening onwards that the term “mongoloid” is offensive both to Mongols and to the international Down syndrome community and that you are extremely sorry to the Mongolian and International  Down syndrome community, and are planning to change the name of the film in the near future.
  • Edit in the same disclaimer in the future screenings of the film. Have a staff member of theatres to read the disclaimer when showing the film without disclaimer.
  • Put the same disclaimer on the internet, especially in the film description on your websites.
  • Change the name of the film out of human kindness and compassion in support of vulnerable members in society and dignity and respect of another culture and nation with rich history and its own place in the world.
Please read more about the use of this offensive term at the link:
Thank you, in advance, for your sensitivity to this issue. We look forward to your response.
– Mongolians NYC Community
– Mongolian Association in the UK
– “Tsahim Urtuu Holboo” TBB (NGO) online community of Mongolians around the world    


Lastly, I just want to say that there would be no peace, cooperation or friendship between nations and various ethnicity  if there is no mutual respect. There will be only mutual enemies if this kind of stupidity continues. That what Casale and Oeslund do, cause hatred and  disrespect. Why people just can't or don't want to avoid or drop something which would harm or hurt others? Are the bad people outnumbering the good ones?  What should people do to stop such "provocations"  which do nothing but harm people's relations? These are the questions we should ask ourselves and find answers if we want to talk about friendship and living  in peace. Let us hear your voices too.

p.s. The correct and original meaning of this term is "related to the culture, language and people of Mongolia and Mongolian ethnicity." 

Mongolians at Dakar rally

Dakar rally. This is a fascinating competition which challenges and tests both  sportsman's endurance, skill and the quality or dependability of  vehicles they use. It is an off-road  endurance race with many  stages each with  distances of up to 900 km (500 miles) a  day. Nowadays Dakar rally, formerly called Paris- Dakar rally, is organized annually in South America and not in  Europe and Africa as it used to. Four major categories of vehicles used  in the race are motorcycles, quads, cars and trucks. Currently the champions in each class are Ayrat Mardeev  (Russia) team with KAMAZ (trucks), Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatari)  team with MINI (cars) , Marc Coma (Spain) with KTM 450 (motorcycles), and Rafal Sonic (Poland) with Yamaha (quads).

Ayrat Mardeev (Russia)
KAMAZ truck (Russia)

KTM 450  bike (Austria)

Marc Coma (Spain)

YAMAHA Raptor 700 (quad, Japan)

Rafal Sonik (Poland)

MINI car (UK)
Nasser Al Attiyah (Qatari)

Mongolian bikers Anar Ch. (left) and Boldbaatar D.
Pilots in 2015 Dakar rally had to master 9500 km in total in 13  stages. This time 7 Mongolian drivers were present at the rally. Boldbaatar Damdinkhorloo (KTM bike) and Anar Chinbaatar (KTM bike) were the bikers from Mongolia, successfully finished with times of 65:39:18 (45th place) and 149:24:08 (78th).  79 bikers in total  out of 168 could cross the finish line completing all stages.  Besides these two bikers, there was a Mongolian car crew with driver Lhamaa Namchin and two other co-drivers, driving a Toyota vehicle of the Hungarian Sandlander team. They finished the race taking 62th place. Two more Mongolians participated in Dakar as co-drivers for two  separate crews of the same Hungarian team.
The fact that from all participants not even half of it in bikes' class and only the half in cars class could complete the race, shows how tough the whole race was.

Boldbaatar D. (Mongolia) after finish
Mongolia's history in Dakar rally  goes back to 2013.  Two our bikers who first time represented Mongolia, could not complete the rally because of the technical failure of their bikes on the 6th day (Boldbaatar D.) and on the 11th day (Lhamaa N.). In 2014 three bikers have participated in the rally,  but two of them couldn't complete the race, again, because of their bikes' failure, and only Boldbaatar D. completed  the race finishing as 60th.  And he made a progress  in 2015 race finishing 45th. Let's hope that he makes it to the first best 20 bikers next year! Or even better. I wish all our racers the best success in the coming years! Go Mongolia!

Representatives of Mongolia at Dakar 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The lead goose and Oyu Tolgoi

Rio Tinto, Ivanhoe Mines, Turquoise Hill, Oyu Tolgoi, Mongolia... 
Names familiar to many people around the world. Here is the translation of an article by Uyanga G., a member of Mongolian Parliament, who has a different perception and standpoint than maybe many others, regarding the Oyu Tolgoi project. We are talking about the third-biggest copper mine in the world. It might be interesting to hear something different from inside the country, different than the ones circulated through the world media. As a Mongol myself, I felt obligated to bring this voice to the world community by translating this article, using my humble English.  The floor is yours...

Begin of the translation

By Uyanga Gantumur

Uyanga G.
A  message has been going around quietly but surely that the two sides are  coming to an agreement about the  funding  for the second stage of the Oyu Tolgoi project. We believed the Government   back then that once we sign the Oyu Tolgoi agreement,  money would pour  in, making Mongolia   a heaven, and the next investors will come flying to us  like a flock  of geese. Well, most of us believed that,  but as for me, I didn't, and that is why I have been fighting  for more than 10 years making use of all means like from march  protesting to hunger strike, excluding use of guns, to oppose  this  unfair investment agreement of Oyu Tolgoi.   Today Mongolians pay 150 million USD each year as interest payment on the amount of money we  borrowed for the 34% of ownership while  we  have not received  a mungh  as  profit. To make the matters worse, we also have to pay an interest-on-interest according to  the  term of  that agreement. Soon we will start paying the money we borrowed. Then we might not be able to finance  even a single kindergarten. Talks are on the way to get 4.9 billion USD more for this project, in addition to 4 billion  initially  agreed. We have to take it  seriously since we  have to pay our 34% share of that amount too, which is 1.6 billion USD , the same way we do now with the initial investment.

ONE.   Simple arithmetic of Oyu Tolgoi

I cannot do calculations using 20 thousand variables. But let's do some math using a simple arithmetic. How much worth is Oyu Tolgoi deposit? It is officially confirmed by domestic and foreign specialists, and by authorized professional  institutes that this mine's deposit contains 45 million ton copper and 1800 ton gold. Let's say, we extract 75% of all that. Now, let's estimate the price of this real wealth.  As of  August 2014, the average price for copper was 7005.15 USD per ton at the London Metal Exchange.  With today's rate of Tugrik against USD (1840:1) and considering in average a 29% enriched copper concentration, the total value of copper deposit would be 434.957.715 million Tugrik. Plus, with one ounce being 31.1 gram  and the average price of gold in August  being 1294 USD per ounce, the value of 1800 ton of gold would be 103.353.569 million Tugrik.  The total revenue from copper and gold amounts to 538.311.284 million Tugrik.  This is the result of calculating the price  of  only two known metals-copper and gold- using the average value at the world market, without considering silver and other minerals which are found in the  copper concentration.
Mongolian annual budget revenue is 7 trillion Tugrik. We produce and consume only 10 trillion Tugrik worth of goods in a year. 538 trillion equals our  budget revenue of  76 years.  That is the money we can get just by selling our copper and gold while doing nothing. 76 people have agreed to a deal which would lead to a loss of the fortune all 3 million of us  could use for 76 years. I am  writing this because the present 76 must  not  allow this to continue.

The numbers mentioned above are relative. Even though it's obvious that we cannot dig out all of it at once and sell it, this is our  stand and basic assessment.  This number will go up if copper price rises, and additional resources are discovered  through  more exploration. In most cases, in addition to the first confirmed deposit, there are  more sources discovered during its development, as shown for example in Erdenet case.  There are many ways to keep the production profitable without going down from the once achieved stage during the market price fluctuation. And Mongolia has own  human resources  and professionals who can do it.

Shouldn't we start talking from this standpoint, based on that simple arithmetic calculations? It does not need to be proved that  within next decades the rising demand  of copper and gold will not go down, and the value thereof as well.  That is the main thing we have. Yes, we don't have the best management and the money to mine and process our wealth, but hey, Turquoise Hill, Ivanhoe Mines, and Rio Tinto do not have the necessary  funds  too, to finance this project. They raised funds with higher interests from the world finance market using our mine as deposit, and also charging us for  the payment of  the mediator who helped with the fundraising. To be exact, our partner who owns 66% , charges us, 34% owner, for the mediator costs, and that  means that Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto are not investors but mediators.  What a finance partner we have found!  Knowing all this, our government is doing  nothing. What a useless government we have! What a nation we are, tolerating such a  government and choosing such people to  power!

If we  have had trusted our national companies and helped them to raise funds from the world banks and finance market,  things would have had  much better look  today. Mongolia is not a country without any experiences. We have been earning profits from one of the world's 10 biggest copper mine which we have developed jointly with a powerful country. People involved in exploring the Erdenet deposit, in its mining, and  in dealing with our partner, having participated in all that on  every level, are working now in private sector, as well as in state-owned entities, and some of them are also on the dole. They should have been mobilized, and if there is a lack of knowledge or experience, we could have hired necessary professionals from the international labor market. Mongolians have brains and possibilities to do the same as Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto have invited best manager and professionals from the international labor market  to work for them on a very attractive conditions, and also to buy the required  equipment and techniques.

TWO.    Let's sum up what happened at Oyu Tolgoi

In 2007 the investors have made a deal with Mongolian government about the development of Oyu Tolgoi deposit after having talks in three stages, and agreed to both  drafts  of  Investment agreement and Shareholders' agreement. These agreement drafts and  a resolution draft of the Parliament were submitted by then-Prime minister M.Enkhbold , together with the Chairman of the Cabinet Office, by handing them over to D.Lundaajantsan-then Speaker of the Parliament.  In that first draft were included  a concentrator  plant  with a capacity to  process 54 million ton ore, underground and open pit, a power station, waste management facilities, infrastructure with accompanying  entities and it was calculated that for all this needed  2.724 million USD. At that time, the price for one ton of copper was 7126 USD on global market. The Investment agreement was signed two years later, in 2009, when copper price was  down to 5149 USD , but the amount of investment money was changed to 5.1 million  from 2.7 million USD,     almost doubled than as it was initially agreed to in 2007. Today, the other party  would still not give any explanation as to  why they doubled  the investment money when the prices for energy and metals on global market were going down. Even I, as MP, couldn't get any response, let alone any ordinary citizen, in regards to this issue until today after I addressed all responsible subjects with this request.  This would be the first big question we should demand  an  answer for.

Next question: Let's discuss about the 5.1 million USD investment as it is written in already signed Agreement, leaving aside the 2.7 million USD with  a question mark. Now, let's have a look at the investments introduced in the Technical and Economic Feasibility Study (TEFS) which was discussed at the Minerals Council of Mongolia:
1.   Open pit mine                                                 278 Mill. USD
2.   Underground mine                                        1512 Mill.USD
3.   Infrastructure                                                  646 Mill.USD
4.   Concentrator plant                                          832 Mill.USD
5.   Power plant                                                    460 Mill.USD
6.   Indirect costs                                                  228 Mill.USD
7.   Owners' expenses                                           176 Mill.USD
8.   Waste management                                        261 Mill.USD
9.   Currency fluctuation and unexpected costs   438 Mill.USD
10. Possible  increase of costs                              293 Mill.USD
11. Environmental and closing costs                        2 Mill.USD

The costs including owners' expenses, currency fluctuation and unexpected costs, and possible increase of costs make 17.5% (907 Mill.USD) of all costs. The costs for power plant could  be saved since there is a power plant project has started at Tavan Tolgoi mine and Oyu Tolgoi is considered as the main buyer. There are talks going on with Oyu Tolgoi as consumer and not as investor.
One can see that in that investment is included everything from  taking in account  the currency fluctuation  considering the possible risks, to  developing  of open pit and underground mining, building infrastructure, concentrator plant, power plant, and  the closing costs.  Certainly  all these calculations are not made  by just one person by heart.

Our partner and investor, superior than us in dealing with this matter, has paid the professional companies like Canadian AMMEK and Australian MINPROK to prepare a initial  economic evaluation  of Southern Oyu open pit and an extended version of evaluation including both northern and southern zones of Hugo Dummett deposit in 2006,  in order to  list the mineral reserves     in the unified registrar of mineral resources. Also the final version of Technical and Economical Feasibility Study (TEFS) for both open pit and underground mining of Oyu Tolgoi deposit was prepared by the above mentioned companies in 2007-2008, based on confirmed estimation of copper-gold deposits. This final version of TEFS, prepared for three years by those experienced companies, chosen by the investor itself, was introduced to the Mineral Council of Mongolia in January 2010 and a ruling was issued. But why is it now an additional 4.9 billion USD required to start the underground mining? What expenses have gone up so high?  We have the right to ask and get a clear answer for that question  because we pay 34% of it, and we must ask firmly because today's as well as our future generation will be paying this debt.  I demand an answer to this my second question.

THREE. In order to reach a mutual understanding, we must eliminate the differences of numbers. Without this, even a joint business in a  small trade would fail. Even though it says in the Investment Agreement that  approximately 1 billion USD was spent  for the Oyu Tolgoi exploration, Ivenhoe Mines Mongolia Inc. has reported in its exploration statement that 171.7 billion MNT in total was spent for the exploration, including 74.8679 billion MNT for drilling, 8.9295 billion MNT for lab and tests, 3 billion MNT for core processing. The sum of these three expenses  makes only 86.8 billion MNT, and the rest of 84.9 billion MNT from the total  was left unexplained. All that needs to be reported,  properly documented.

The results of the working group established by the joint order of Deputy Minister, Finance Minister  and Mining Minister, and worked more than a year to investigate the excessive 2 billion USD investment of Oyu Tolgoi project, are still not  available to the  public. Even the members of the Parliament have not received it yet. That must be disclosed. In regards to the tax-related debt of 130 million USD, it might be a small amount compared to the numbers mentioned above,  but Rio Tinto should be sincere and pay this money.  Isn't that shameful for such a big company to dispute a tax debt of 130 million USD and intends to take it to international arbitration when Mongolians are  granting  a favorable condition to develop a treasure which can feed us for 100 years and plus   borrowing money with interests?

In  the Investment Agreement, signed and approved, the initial investment was set as 4 billion USD, but in TEFS received by the Mineral Council of Mongolia that number was given as 5.1 billion USD. Which one is the number we should stick to? One should deal with the next question after we receive  clear answers  to those  plain  questions. So, is it that the project  was delayed  by the Mongolian Government or is the other side at fault? It is all right if the Prime Minister meant it precisely by word when he said that "We are ready to resolve the investment issue."  But if he meant that we agree on additional investment if necessary, then he should face a huge political responsibility.

Can't they understand Mongolia?

480 billion MNT had to be deducted from the budget income of last year due to the investment delay of Oyu Tolgoi project.  We tightened our belt accordingly, and were not able to increase the food amount for our children at the kindergarten and daycare , let alone to raise the salary for their teachers.  New kindergartens couldn't be built and children were  to stay home forcing their mom and dad stay without jobs.
The parliamentary caucus of the  "Justice" coalition had asked Da.Ganbold , a  Mongolian representative in Oyu Tolgoi's board,   particularly about this issue in the presence of Mongolian Prime Minister, Mining Minister, Minister of Economic Development and other officials.
When I heard  a Mongolian saying that   the cost over-runs  also include   the costs for Oyu Tolgoi"s foreign directors and officials who travel around the world with their wives and children, flying business class and staying in luxury hotels with a rate of 5000 USD per day,  and when he tried  to justify it by saying that we should understand the culture of high-level-people who represent big investors  and deal with big monies, although it is not acceptable to us, I became very agitated.
Mongolians pay the 34 percent of all this  by a loan with a high interest. All right, we understand them and we pay the 34 percent of it. Why they could not understand us?

Why they cannot understand that in fact Mongolian children have no kindergarten to go, and that classrooms for 25 students are overcrowded with 45 students, and that a teacher with a meager salary of 400 thousand MNT works with 40-50 students all day, and that we all get poisoned by toxic air, and that people are suffering and dying due to the insufficient number of hospitals and services, and that the newborns sleep with their mother on the floor at the maternity clinics?  Is there no one who would  explain all this and make them understand? Why not put someone else in this company to represent Mongolians  and to explain and defend our interests? To defend Mongolia's interest in Oyu Tolgoi, we need someone who knows Mongolia, understands Mongolians, and who can sense own  national interests of this country and people, but not somebody who just speaks English and has a foreign education.

Who is the lead goose, or the investor?

There is  no one today or  will be in the future who would say, let's put the Oyu Tolgoi in reservation and send the investors home.
Instead of calling those who speak out about defending own interests as populists or nationalists, and blaming them for  chasing away investors and ruining the economy, and playing the smart ones, one should demonstrate own  facts and numbers beneficial to Mongolia, against the ones mentioned above. An investor is not a butterfly you would not want to scare away from a flower. Using this opportunity, I want to say some words about the investor.

Mongolian law on investment states that an investment means the tangible and intangible assets attributed to the joint capital and reflected in financial statements of the business entities which are for profit oriented activities in the territory of Mongolia, and an investor means a foreign and domestic investor who  make an investment in Mongolia, and that a foreign investor means a foreign legal entity or individual (a foreign citizen or stateless person who is non-resident in Mongolia as well as a Mongolian citizen residing permanently in a foreign country) that makes investment in Mongolia.

Let's see what happens in real life, comparing it to the words and sentences written in this law. Last spring Mongolians collapsed when the greenback strengthened  sharply. The government has trembled, too. Why? Because the investment was reduced and the investors were chased away by those evil nationalists, said every smart mouth.   The consequences of stalling of Oyu Tolgoi investment were cruel and Mongolians whose lives depend on dollar were almost ruined due to  skyrocketed rate of Mr.Dollar who was scared off  by those populists.

But imagine that the money called as Oyu Tolgoi investment on which depends our lives as some want to claim, does not go through Mongolian banks and financial organisations; instead it goes out directly being not a subject matter of our concern. In another words, it has not a smallest  effect at all on stabilizing Tugrik and keeping the dollar rate steady. They even don't storage the concentration ore on Mongolia's territory but keep it at storehouses outside  the border. Buying toilet papers from Mongolian stores, feeding Mongolians with rice meals bought from S.Bayartsogt's  eatery, paying salaries to some Mongolians, and paying taxes, obligatory anywhere in the world,  shouldn't  be called as investment. Contempt  might be  a  word too soft for that.

If describing the mandatory tax payments  as our profit is not an offense, what is it?  A trader does not count all his income as profit after selling all his goods. Anyone in Mongolia knows that the profit is what is left after paying  taxes, rent fees, salesman salary, and subtracting the price for goods, costs for food and travel, etc.

An another example: Mongolia's Petroleum Law was passed this spring after much struggle. One of the great improvement of that law , introduced  by the working group led by MP Kh.Bolorchuluun, is the part stating that the money flow of the foreign companies operating in this field should go through Mongolia's banks and financial entities.  With effort from MANAN this law was defeated by 50:50 and another working group was formed with  MP Ts.Nyamdorj in charge. But he reintroduced the  law without that  most important part and with approval of the majority the law was passed. MANAN still exists. We were reckless by believing that MANAN would disappear  if MAN and AN  would go separate, and reappear if they join together to govern. This MANAN was a very thick one and wouldn't disappear so easily. Every morning when we get up we should  remind ourselves  that  MANAN  which was  built up in the past 24 years by  mutual benefits and shared pockets, and trapped  and hooked up themselves with  their failures and sins, is still there  , thicker  than we thought.

It's the  MANAN what makes  MAN  do the opposite while saying , "Dollar gets out of control. The Government should resign!" That is exactly what is called populism. And such people and party should be called populists.

We now know that the definition of investor as written in the law does not match with the real life and that we should   clearly define and understand  who is   the investor- the butterfly we scared away thus allegedly triggered  the dollar go crazy. Let's stop being fond of every golden-haired  with  money in the pocket and calling them as investor-butterfly. If the investment is  the most important factor affecting  Tugrik's rate, the investment should be redefined by reflecting that  influence. As a lawmaker, I will be introducing an amendment to the investment law to make such changes. So, let's ask ourselves again:  Is  the operator company of Oyu Tolgoi project an Investor?

One. Mongolians borrowed 1.7 billion dollars with 6.5% interest in order to jointly develop the Oyu Tolgoi mine (Interest-on-interest is paid too)
Two. The loan interest fee of this company has reached 500 million dollars since 2009 and we started paying 34% of that fee.
Three. The enormous amount of money of Oyu Tolgoi and the payment from selling of concentration ore do not go through Mongolia's banks and therefore it has no influence in stabilizing the currency rate.
Four. We have practically  become dependent on  this company, hailed as  the biggest investor, because any interruption of  production would trouble Mongolia's budget.

That is how the lead goose looks like. The second one would demand more since  the first one set such an example. Are we going to survive if such geese come in flock?  May such goose not come to us in flocks.

My suggestions

ONE. We should get  clear answers to the questions mentioned above. I am going to demand it in the name of the Mongolian people along with my friends. After that, the next issues  will be able to get fixed. In order to run this project risk free, beneficial to all and properly, a right order needs to be set, and the very first thing is to have  clear, honest and complete answers to those questions.

TWO. Oyu Tolgoi project is the first aim of the  flock of geese. The next geese should have a proper information about  the development of this project and any issues or disputes  related to it. We don't have such amount of money to counter the propaganda against Mongolia"s government and Mongolians, lavishly paid  by Rio Tinto.   Therefore let's open a website which contains all the information  about the development of this project,  and let's  introduce it to the world.  This will bring all the information to both natives  and foreign people  openly in proper manner. One cries out always that the investors were scared off  because of the false information. But anyone knows that an investor would not run away from a treasure which is ready to be possessed. There is not too much money needed to prove to the world that Mongolia's government and Mongolians are not evil people scaring off the  investors, and that all they demand is only a fairness. When Mongolia's government introduces officially that website, it is enough to distribute the news to all world media organs using the only state-owned media agency Montsame  which cooperates  with major news agencies of the world.

THREE. Before all this,  it is important that we Mongolians should unify   our standpoint regarding Oyu Tolgoi, and if we could come together it can be improved. But I personally feel that it might  be very difficult. Those  who signed the agreement with an investment  increased by billions of dollars  by yielding the other side are not many, but they just represent the front. This was carried out by a whole gang. If this agreement gets nullified, everybody involved will be exposed. Maybe they are being held captive by that circumstance. Calling us populists, or as people scaring off the  investors, or as ignorant street people who cannot do calculations with 20 thousand variables  is just the cover-up,  not the answer. To tighten its grip and increase the profits, they keep pushing Mongolians along with their government to raise the investment fund. If we can make those who signed the agreement responsible, politically, then we could free ourselves from that grip. As the saying goes, committing  murder as a result of  being embarrassed, we can't let us falling  into  more debt just to cover the bribes of some people, can we?  Should we , being modest, allow us  more debt we could not possibly pay off in our lifetime, or stop it while our loss being minimal, unless  Rio Tinto becomes more reasonable and fair, since Mongolians won't die of  hunger  after all without selling Oyu Tolgoi, right?

Better scare it off than being exploited

The  message  we deliver to the world must be clear and fair. This is not difficult, nor it requires lot of money. Would it be reasonable for others to run away following  Rio Tinto, in case Rio Tinto leaves, instead of competing  to  take its place?  Rio Tinto is scaring off  other investors in order to dominate  in Mongolia. It is their wish to scare off others by making Mongolia look bad. The development of the project has been delayed   because Rio Tinto does  not play  fair. There is a big opportunity to make money in Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi if one plays only a fair game.

In the end the guilty parties are  the government which brought  us in such a situation and those who signed the agreement.  We should look at ourselves first and those whom we elected before start swearing at Rio Tinto. The investors are not the kind-hearted Jesus, Buddha or mother Theresa who want us to become developed and be  rich,  nor the  beautiful butterflies one wouldn't dare to scare off from flowers.  They are just people who want to invest their money in rewarding projects for profits.  They are smart. They know how to approach and talk to people who know  their rights,  how to defend their interests and have strong self-esteem. They know also how to talk  to  people who dishonor own country, don't understand  own interest and how to defend it, and those who can be trapped by money, as well as how to  tighten their grip and, what to take and how.

People who mistakenly regard their spoken English as education, view  the money as their measurement of everything and set it as their target, whose brains , far distant from the  root and not immune anymore, are washed by  neo-liberal propaganda,  cannot be the power to stand against it. Instead  they form the fifth colony, serving the other side by claiming they were loyal to their beliefs.

Lastly, I want to say few words to our dear INVESTOR.  You have started the work based on the TEFS, prepared by the company of your choice and accepted by the people you bribed. Now, do your job with the money approved because we can't allow us more loss. Complete all the work listed in the project according to the agreement  approved officially on October 6. 2009. If you want to talk about raising the funds for underground mining, a new situation will emerge where the Investment agreement and the Shareholders' agreement need to be discussed anew. Same as in, if somebody wants to sell his house for 100 million and made an agreement with the buyer, but the deal will have to made anew  if the next day  seller wanted 300 million instead, or there is going to be no deal at all.

As the world leading company and as intelligent people, you must give an answer to my questions above. Fairness is a very important, not measurable, nor comparable   thing in a cooperation. Buying a Mongolian does not mean you can do it with all Mongolian. Mongolians are people who can be fair if treated fairly. I have the hope that only after all disputed questions are cleared, our cooperation will succeed and we can work together for our mutual benefit. But if you decide to keep on exploitation, repelling shall be the right  choice for us.

This is my standpoint on Oyu Tolgoi project.

Uyanga Gantumur, Member of Parliament of Mongolia

End of the translation



1. Mungh - smallest monetary unit equals 1/100 of the basic monetary unit (tugrik)
2. 20 thousand variables- referring to what MP Bayartsogt said at the TV debate about Oyu Tolgoi agreement by defending the agreement that it  includes  precise calculations made using  methods with  20 thousand variables.
3. Tugrik - Mongolian currency , abbr. MNT
4. 76 people - the total number of members of the Mongolian Parliament
5. Erdenet - a copper mine jointly developed with Russia (still producing concentration)
6. Tavan Tolgoi - a major coal mine close to Oyu Tolgoi
7. S.Bayartsogt - an MP from Democratic Party
8. MANAN - nickname for the coalition of the two main parties, MAN (abbr. in Mongolian for Mongolian People's Party)  and AN (for Democratic Party), making a term meaning "Fog" in Mongolian) 

I urge our readers to read the following assessment issued by the Oyu Tolgoi Watch almost 4 years ago: http://www.miningwatch.ca/sites/www.miningwatch.ca/files/OT_issues.pdf .    Things looked problematic back then, and as MP Uyanga mentioned in her recent press conference, the issue about the differences of salaries between domestic (Mongolian) and foreign workers still exists today and she gave just one example to prove it:
A Mongol welder gets 71.6 thousand MNT a month while a foreign worker  in the same position get paid 1.8 million MNT monthly for the same job. (With the current exchange rate between MNT and USD-1888:1, that would be  $38 VS $953). That is 25 times (!) more than what Mongolian worker receives. Is that some kind of exploitation? As they are praised as the top leading   company with a worldwide reputation, it is hard to believe that Rio Tinto is taking advantage of native workers by abusing them with  such underpayments!  Are  they trying to make a profit from it? They should be ashamed of that, and I doubt very much that with such an attitude and unfairness  towards Mongolians, they will be not welcomed,  nor respected, maybe even hated by the natives. If both sides hate each other, no business shall be made  between them. Business should be based on trust, fairness and mutual respect.