President mulls reinstatement of death penalty
President of Mongolia Kh. Bat-tulag believes that the Mongolia society has not reached the level of development when death sentence can be revoked and this matter must be taken up only after an individual is fully developed and when the society becomes stable. In relation to this, the President has revealed that a panel of lawyers has been set up to reinstate the death sentence.
Up until 2012 Mongolia passed death sentence for serious crimes such as the raping of minor children and for serious manslaughter, but the death sentence was upheld after 2012. Subsequently, punishment by death was official removed from the newly amended Penal Code which was passed by the Parliament in December 2015 and which came into force effective 1 July 2017.
“Lawyers and researchers are saying that there were a number of instances when a person was sentenced to death under the Great Yassa (a law passed under Chinggis Khan. TMO). For instance, a person who washed clothes in a running river was meted out this sentence and traitors were condemned to death,” according to the official website of the President of Mongolia.
A national forum on reducing air pollution held
A National Forum on Reduction of Air Pollution was held in Ulaanbaatar at the initiative of the President of Mongolia.
Speaking at the forum (photo left), President Battulag said “We are gathered here to discuss a most familiar, yet seemingly unfamiliar, topic. We have been talking about smog for many years. But it is still here. It makes the issue an unfamiliar one.”
A medium-term development policy for Mongolia was approved on June 23 of 2010. This policy document outlined policies promoting the development of the agriculture sector, improvement of living standards of livestock herders through measures, such as setting up a complete cycle for the livestock herders living in the most remote soums to sell their products through agricultural exchange to wool and cashmere factories. The policy document sets out a list of projects on building factories for processing up to 10 million pieces of animal hides, wool and cashmere.
“Unfortunately, the numerous previous cabinets did not support them,” the President lamented.
President Battulag said, “About 50 percent of the country’s population resides in Ulaanbaatar. More than 51 percent of Ulaanbaatar residents live in the ger areas. Today, the reason why those people are sticking to the ger areas and are burning coal for survival is that they do not have a constant income. Therefore, they are not qualified to access apartment mortgage loans. This situation can be traced back to the problems of poverty and unemployment.”
The President said that because political polarization and frauds for profit reigned over us, which became the main obstacle for achieving the goals the country has been setting before itself, including in tackling air pollution.
Members of the new Cabinet of Prime Minister Khürelsükh, who attended the forum, were urged to collectively come up with a right solution for addressing this chronic problem of air pollution, which is not only a financial but also a serious health burden on the Mongolian state and society.
Since 2011 the country has spent to date more than MNT140 billion (1 USD=MNT2456). In 2011-2015 a total of MNT132.5 billion were spent on air pollution reduction and this money came from the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact Fund, World Bank, the Pure Air Foundation of Mongolia and the state budget. Improved stoves were distributed to 176 thousand households in the ger areas with this money and production of smokeless fuel was supported. In 2017 another MNT5 billion was allocated from the state budget for this purpose., which is 20 percent of the fee imposed for polluting the air.
Mongolian Human Rights Commission statement
J. Byambadorj, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia, in a recent interview with the “Ödriin Sonin” (Daily News), made a serious remark on child trafficking.
Byambadorj said, “The Mongolian Law against Human Trafficking was adopted in 2008 with the active involvement of the National Human Rights Commission. We trust that child trafficking has stopped. Today parental accreditation, both of the father and the mother, is mandatory when minor children cross the national border. If the mother is traveling with her child, then the father’s consent (written and notarized) is required. But it’s difficult to monitor adults. Recently a working team from the Commission visited the Chinese border town of Erlian, where the team found some serious issues. I cannot go into full details. It’s hard to say a woman is pregnant in the pregnancy is only three months old. There have been cases when pregnant Mongolian women have traveled overseas and have returned without their babies. If a woman whose pregnancy is evident and travels overseas and returns without her child, then the border officials must ask about her child.”
The Mongolian Observer plans to carry an interview with the NHRC Chairman Byambadorj in its next edition.
Medical professionals demand pay rise
Medical professionals of the country have joined in the demand of teachers and art and cultural personnel demanding an increase in their salary.
They have submitted a petition to the State Ikh Khural.
According to the participants in a walking demonstration, held outside the Mongolian Government building in Ulaanbaatar (photo below), representatives of medical professionals carried slogans and shouted demands for pay hike.
An account working with the central hospital number 1 in the capital city said that her monthly salary is only MNT560 thousand. She has a family of six and she can hardly make ends meet.
According to the organizers of the demonstration of the medical professional, only MNT150 billion is required to be allocated by the government to satisfy their demand of only 50 percent salary increase. While teachers had demanded that their salary be almost doubled.
S. Chinzorig, Minister of Labor and Social Protection has said that Teachers and doctors should make their demands for salary increase not by demonstrating in the streets and squares but by sitting behind the negotiating table through mutual understanding and consent.