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2011-12-28




SPEECH OF THE PRESIDENT OF MONGOLIA AT THE SPECIAL SESSION OF THE PARLIAMENT ON THE OCCASION OF THE CENTENARY OF REGAINING THE INDEPENDENCE OF MONGOLIA



Esteemed people of Mongolia,
Mr. Chairman of the State Great Khural, Mr. Prime Minister,
Honorable Members of the Parliament and Government,
Dear Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today we have convened to discuss and honorperhaps the most important historic process that took place in Mongolia in the past century. From this respectful state podium, I convey my sincere greetings for the historic centennial anniversary of regaining the independence and freedom to all my fellow countrymen, to our neighboring countries and all the countries with diplomatic relations and countries and organizations with good and friendly relations and cooperation. For any nation, its freedom and independence are cherished as the most supreme asset. Freedom, equity and equality of an individual, of a village, of the nation have been the fundamental virtue and value in the aspirations of Mongols for greater development and prosperity at all times.
Perusing our past history, one learns that our ancestors had once established the largest empire on dry land, had impacted distinctively the histories and destinies of many nations, established new orders and ruled governments and societies. Also, Mongols had gone through myriad state and political, social and societal experiences; force majeure were not alien to us, and time had a say for major changes in our course. Of these, the relationship with ManchuQing dynasty left a clear footprint in our history.
In the first half of the 17thcentury, i.e.in 1630s certain changes had been taking place in the relations between Mongolians residing in the vast territory and Manchu- Qing dynasty. Those were Southern Mongol, Khalkha Mongol and Oirad Mongol who were sequentially exposed to those changes. Mongols in their entirety never fell under the exploitation of Manchu Qing dynasty. I especially acknowledge the role the tireless struggle of the generations of the Mongolian patriots and wise and patriotic policies of royal family played [in safeguarding Mongolia’s independence].
Besides, Manchu Qingdynasty abode by a special policy toward the Mongols. This policy had been implemented through 2 centuries until the beginning of the 20th century, and was based on an agreement mutually agreed in writing. It might be more fitting to perceive this relationship as a policy between the Mongols and Manchus fit to the conditions of the time rather than merely a relationship between two states, two countries. That special relationship between Mongol and Manchu nations can be defined as “vassal” in the medieval terminology, or “satellite” in modern lexicon. This relationship of trusted allies between the two nations had changed in the course of time in the beginning of the 20th century.
End of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century is distinctive for the changes that took place in the lives of many nations in different parts of the globe. Policies, acts and attempts of regional dynasties such as Ottoman's Turkey, Habsburg's Austria, Victorian Britain, Romanov's Russia, Qing's China to counteract the tides of time were futile. This was also factored by the desires and aspirations of numerous old and new states seeking independent and sovereign development and prosperity.
The changesin the Manchu Qing policy were manifested by distrust in its relations with Mongols and Mongols’ relations with others – Qing’s policies translated into acts of aggression infringing upon Mongolia’s territorial integrity and Mongols’ traditional lifestyles by dispatching military guards at Mongolian frontiers and IkhKhuree. Qingsdefined these acts as “a new policy”. This quality change in the Manchu features of Qing policy were skillfully used by the Mongolian leaders of the time. They ceased the trusted ally relationship with the Manchu King and set determined to regain and consolidate the Mongol nation’s freedom and independence.
Dear fellow citizens,
The 100th anniversary, or the centenary of regaining Mongolia’s freedom and independence, so deeply honored by the State, widely discussed and proudly celebrated today is a historic event of peerless magnitudeby its scope, by its significance and by its intransience through generations ahead.
I wish to corroborate my rendering these qualities to this date. This celebration of regaining national freedom and independence is the manifestation of the victory triumphed in the three hundred years of struggle against foreign aggression for our statehood, for our lands, for our people. This is the longest in our history, the bravest story to prevail, to win.
The Centenary of regaining national freedom and independence is the celebration of our collective will, of our unity from Bogdo, the Head of Mongols’ religion, to common herders, from khans and royals to state dignitaries and nobles tocommon people – to achieve our common goal, achieve the historic victory.
The commemorative events that are taking place these days in Mongolia one hundred years after the historic date prove the fact that the Mongolian State has officially recognized this historic date to be celebrated as our national pride through generations ahead. I am earnestly happy that by restoring historical truth Mongolian history is being rendered full and complete. And I am sure, the people of Mongolia are duly grateful for the truth being reinstated.
Mongols had fought for our freedom and independence fearlessly, relentlessly and tirelessly year by year, and especially, in 1911, the entire nation rose as one. I wish to make a special note here – the people of Mongolia never ever borrowed from anywhere in the world the wisdom to consolidate our freedom, independence and governance. This wisdom was preserved for generations in the Mongolians themselves. Only we wanted this asset – our freedom and independence – be known and recognized by others. Our history of one hundred years ago clearly shows that every Mongol soul and heart, every Mongol mind and brain had kept the wisdom to regain and consolidate the state, the very vital body of freedom and independence, live and upright.
Abiding with the traditional history, the Mongol nobles and people’s representatives convened and, as historical accounts read, “repeatedly contemplating, discussing, polishing, criticizing, and planning collectively until it is perfect”, did they reach an agreed decision. And based on that historic decision, Mongols reinstituted their independence and freedom by declaring Mongolia as a free and independent state and enthroned the religious leader BogdoJavzandamba VIII as the Khaan.
Furthermore, the Khaandecreed to establish the Government of Mongolia. The Khaan’s decree appointed the Ministers of the Government’s first 5 Ministries. “For outstanding efforts to the cause of establishing the Statehood”, the decree appointed a lama, a van [prince], a gun[duke], a beis and a taij [nobility titles] the first Ministers of the Mongolian Government. The decree gave alms to the old and seniors, granted amnesty to those erred and send letters to foreign countries proclaiming Mongolia’s independence.
One hundred years ago, on the 9th day of the middle winter month of the Year of Pig, Mongolia declared regaining from Manchu Qing dynasty and restoring all state and government policies and affairs. Thus Mongolia became the first state in Asia to break free from Manchu. Having learned of the splendid news, the people of Mongolia, as the witnesses of the time recorded, were crying and praying in a great rejoice that “the heavenly times have come upon”. Foreign envoys, messengers and travelers who heard the news, witnessed and partook in the events of the time, were spreading the message as farther as they could. For instance, the last issue of 1911 of British newspaper The Times noted that “…in Asia, restoring of independence of Mongolia became a reality”.
My fellow Mongolians, our ancestors, those saints and gods whom we sanctify, have planted in our hearts and minds the sense of freedom for ever. That sense could be tried to be smothered. But no one can ever destroy it. Mongolian history proves this. Mongolia’s today evinces this. This will be further attested by Mongolia’s future.
I have a message to our fathers and forefathers looking at us today from the Tengri the heaven. Let us bow deeply in our profound gratitude to our fathers and seniors, who, unmindful of own lives, private joys and comforts, fought faithfully for the common interests and benefits of the Mongol people and who relayed intact the sacred golden bond of history to our times, to us. True, the life of our society in the past 100 years was both bright-and-breezy and desperate-and-forlorn, sweet-and-brisk and rough-and-tough. Yet, we today have no right to judge our ancestors, but have a historic duty to carry on their heroic cause.
While commemorating and celebrating the centenary, I have decided also to touch upon some issues that pending our decision at the down of the next centenary. I wish to share with you my thoughts on some solutions for the pressing issues too. Let’s talk about our people’s lives, economy, politics, society, justice, the wishes and aspirations of the Mongolian people. And then let’s find solutions. If we can make it, this will prove that we are conscientious of our historic mission to continue the noble cause of our forefathers.


Honorable Members [of the Parliament],
The Centenary and a Mongolian: In the course of one hundred years, a Mongolian saw at least 3 revolutions – 1911 Independence Revolution, 1921 People’s Revolution, 1990 Democratic Revolution. If asked “why, what they fought for”, the predominant majority of participants in these revolutions would, probably, respond – for a Mongolian, for his or her free and prosperous life. Today, in 2011, by her human development index, and specifically, by her income per capita, Mongolia ranks 110th of 187 countries. But by natural resources per capita, we are said to be one of the top ten countries. Being a citizen of a country ranking as one of the top 10 richest countries, he\she is not even in the first 100 by development, by income. This is the tragedy of the century. We must do away with this tragedy in the next centenary.
“The economy is growing, things are getting better” – has become a common language lately. However, that growth, those goodies are still alien to a Mongolian. They do not reach out, do not enter the homes of Mongolians. Too pompous state policies, or are they so estranged from a Mongolian?
We say ‘happiness just doesn’t cling to a man’. Why do not Mongolia’s wealth and virtues “cling” to its people? The people in this Hall, we are the ones to answer this question. No one else. One hundred years ago, the Mongols sought for the cause of their impoverished lives in Manchus. Today, they know well who to question.
Everywhere in Mongolia we have people who are able to lead their lives independently, by themselves, by their own hard work. Yet, those people are cornered, jammed and suffocated by the government red-tape on one side, and by business and government oligarchyon the other side. In fact, that suppressed space is Mongolia’s middle stratum. A society without a middle stratum has no future.
In Mongolia, the best earning businesses are run either by the government or by foreigners. Or those who managed to conspire with the two. They collect all profitable businesses. Entrepreneurial Mongolians, small and medium size business owners are paying the highest prices. They are left to pick the most costly businesses. Those who live and work farther from urban centers, in remote areas are even more repressed. Let us alleviate the customs, sales duties and price burdens for those afar from the capital city. If they get loans, those are short-term and high-interest-rate. If they get a business, the profits are lowest, but the pressures are the heaviest. That’s a reality. Without changing this, the life of a Mongolian will not improve, we will not achieve a common well-being.
To change this, we must create an environment for an entrepreneurial Mongolian much better, much more favorable an environment than accorded to foreigners and Mongolian oligarchs. This is the secret, this is the formula to change the situation. Incomes at a certain level, maybe, SME people with less than 20 million MNT monthly income should be exempted from tax. For production and services other than alcohol and tobacco, let us offer 5, 10 year exemption from VAT and corporate income tax. For SMEs in manufacturing, those who engage in value addition, offer long-term loans. Let the Government pay for the interest rate burden.
Let me state again,release the people, SME businessmen from the burden of taxation and red-tape. Offer them favorable conditions. Mongolia, who celebrates the Centenary of her National Freedom, has reached the time to offer economic freedom to its people. We must compete to fulfill this from tomorrow on. Should you have good ideas, solutions – bring them to the government, Parliament. Should the Members of the Cabinet, of the Parliament have such ideas and solutions, turn them into laws and resolutions. I will support.
Honorable Members,
The Centenary and the Mongolian Statehood: One hundred years ago Mongolians rose outraged by Manchu. One hundred years later, today, will those grateful to the leaders and rulers outnumber those who are not happy with them, be the majority in the society? In the past 100 years, on many occasions, did the State good for its people. But it offended and harmed on many instances too. In 1996 the State Great Khural issued a resolution and brought its apologies to the Mongolian people for all the mistakes, repressions and purges, for the lives killed and freedom abridged in the 20th century. Not long afterwards, Mongolian State did let an unfortunate incident take place for its failure to safeguard its people’s rights, health and security.
Under an emergency situation set by the decree of the President of Mongolia, in the night of July 1 to July 2 of 2008, a human right and freedom to life was gravely violated, and human casualties were inflicted. This heinous incident left our society, our state with a bitter lesson. The tragedy of July 1, 2008 will continue to remind Mongolian leaders that they should observe extreme diligence when dealing with human rights, civilian liberties and when having their powers decided by the citizens. “Measure seven times and cut just once”, goes a folk wisdom.
For the failure to secure and safeguard the basic human right to life, health and security, on behalf of the Mongolian State, I apologize to the families and bereaved of our citizens lost lives and to those citizens whose health, rights and liberties were injured. The relevant state organizations, by their legal duties and mandate, must establish the cause whichled to the loss of lives, damage to the health of citizens, and grave violation of fundamental civic rights and liberties. The tragic event of July 1, 2008 must never be repeated in our history.
Let me draw your attention back to the talk about the State. The revolutions that took place in Mongolia mainly aimed at gaining back the rights and liberties that the people were seized and deprived of by others. But as time went on, those regained rights were appropriated by those in power, which would eventually lead to the next revolution. What is the situation like today?
Merely 20 years ago, one of the major goals of the democratic revolution was to restrict, even divide, splitthe state powers. It aimed at establishing a society ruled by law. The essence of the society ruled by law rested in restricting state powers by law and in opening up and protecting civil rights also by law. A state of law is a state whose powers are restrained by law. It is a society where civil rights are protected by law. State is not something notional and abstract. It is an official with flesh body. From the President to any person sitting in this Hall is a physical representative of the State.
Let me cite here an example. By our laws, a Mongolian State, our state officials are a collection of rights and powers, and our citizens and private sector are a collection of duties and responsibilities. I am citing an article published in one of our daily newspapers: by law, the President has 41 rights and 2 duties, Parliament Speaker and members have 281 rights and 14 duties, Prime Minister has 67 rights, Cabinet Member, Agency Heads have 1721 rights and 264 duties.
On average, one state official enjoys 7 rights and has 1 duty whereas a citizen has a single right and is mounded with 7 duties. State powers look like July 1, and citizen’s rights - like January 1. In some places the right-to-duty ratio looks like October 1, and in others - not accidentally as January 10th.
The prevalent tendency in the applied science of public administration shows that an official is given no powers, but duties. And to fulfill the duties, he or she is given certain rights such as a salary, chauffeur, office space etc. Enjoying rights gives way to increased red-tape whereas undertaking duties demands accountability. Doesn’t here lie the secret of the bad reputation of the Mongolian State, isn’t it the reason why work is not done, why no progress is observed in the work of the State.
Citizens say, Mongolia faces today not a money, but an accountability deficit; we are short of not rights, but of duties; there is no one in Mongolia who cares for accountability, who is held accountable. They state truth. Let us change the state of the State, armored with law and spoilt in rights. Let us transfer the rights to the citizens, private sector, NGOs. Let us build the proper, the right society where the state has duties and the citizens have rights.
We should move from public administration to civil governance. We must change the public rite to civil service. If Manchu is given powers, it is oppression, but it is not a democracy if a Mongol statesman is given powers. In Mongolia, because a statesman has no duties, there is no accountability, and subsequently, no service.
In Mongolia our state has more rights than citizens. That’s why the State is rich and a citizen is poor. The State’s affluence doesn’t matter for the citizen. As said earlier, State’s wealth doesn’t cling to people. There goes a saying “a fed does not understand the miseries of a hungry”. This is how the relationship between our state and a citizen looks like today. The rights and duties correlation of the state and the citizen should be right for a society to advance. A citizen must have rights. A Bag governor should have more duties than a citizen and less duties than he. And in that may that correlation pattern should be applied from bag to soum, and from soum to aimag. Local and State central duties and rights must be ranked by law.
A state that serves its citizens should not be more ponderous that the citizens. It should not rest above the citizen. That would bring about a pressure, a burden. A state, only a state which carries duties in front of its citizens, can support the citizens. A citizen can hold the State accountable should the latter fail to fulfill its duties.

Let us take all the rights in the Constitution as duties. Let us stop providing more rights to the officials, to the State by other laws. Let us abolish by law all rights and immunities provided to political and state officials other than conferred by the Constitution. Let usmake the officials realize their duties, in case they fail to do so, let us hold them accountable. I call all the Honorable Members of the Parliament and all the Members of the Citizens’ Representatives’ Meetings [local Parliaments] as all levels “Kick-start the revolution for duties”.
I do believe in the power of freedom. However badly it aggravates, it always leans to better, to the good, to the positive. Thanks to the free society, we enough address the bads and evils in the
State. And we see the reasons why the State has evil, why it performs badly. The time has come to clean our freedom, our society step-by-step from the bad officials, from the evils and means. This is a call, a demand of the time. Let us do it. Let us work.

Honorable Members,
The Centenary and Public Service: Preparing for my speech today, I referred to historical accounts and records, writings of wise men. And I draw one conclusion –the notion of the State for a Mongolian is deep, elite, pure and pristine. Mongols have abhorred the integrity of the State fall apart and have always expected high ethics and justice from a statesman. For its care for the State, loath of dirt in the statehood, Mongols observe the public officers keenly, detest and criticize if the officers perform ill and evil. This is a common attitude among our citizens, senior and young. The State is not something apart of ourselves. These days a more civic perception about the Statehood and public service is being cultivated among our people that the state is our own creation, that it is people, services that have to serve our common and collective interests and who have to enforce the collectively agreed and recognized order. If a person fits to this criterion, will he then get a moral right to serve as a public officer, without any reservation and moraldiscomfort.
In early 20th century, while re-instituting statehood, those to serve the people used to take an oath which read:”…without seeking easy ends, not fearing of hardships, shall hold this oath and discipline as safe as the pupil of my eyes and dear as the will of my heart”. It won’t hurt if my contemporary public clerks read and mull over those lines, once said by our fathers in their cause to serve the people. The criterion for a modern public servant to enter the service should be defined by the knowledge and appreciation of the social values, high morale and ethics, professionalism and relentless and non-discriminatory observance of rule of law. Should a person not qualify or does not want to qualifyfor this standard, he or she has numerous other choices to lead his\her life. This must be well understood by those who wish to become public servants.
I spoke earlier and not just once that our public service, the Public Service Council and the system in its entirely, is just not working right. We cannot go any further with it as it stands today. In meeting and speaking with citizens I often hear that the public service examinations are not held fairly, the examiners select the ones who they need and like and not those who the State needs. In that way most of the central and local public service councils turned in private service councils. And at no surprise, public service offices in many aimags and soums turned into the family palaces and residences of the local governments. It has become prevalent for those in power to rank their subordinate personnel by how well or bad they [the staff] served the former, his family, his party. The State Great Khuralmust put an end to this. We must disroot all ill practices in our public service law and in public service.
Honorable Members,
The Centenary and Political Parties: If we look back at the history of a century ago we will see that our fathers did not rush to form political parties. They adopted many things from the “cultured” world at that time. Establishing the five ministries, instituting national currency, telephony, cars, machinery and technical equipment, European style schools, banking and financial structures, manufacturing and services, periodical media etc – and many other “advanced” practices from many parts of the world were adopted.
At that time, when national freedom and independence were a matter of life, perhaps our fathers observed caution to form parties, divide and take sides. Observing the 100th anniversary of the most important event in the history of Mongolia in the past century – regaining our freedom and independence, while praising our success and achievements, we are also discussing our mistakes and trying to draw conclusions. At the same time, these discussions are a sort of a research and exploration for solutions to our most pressing issues to be inevitably resolved in the early part of the next centenary.
Political parties and issues surrounding them are an issue to be discussed and resolved in the nearest future. Talks, discussions and criticism about the issue are going on in the society. I did clearly express my position on the issue in my speech at the opening of the 2010 Parliament Fall session. Political party is not the most important thing in our country. Party is one of the many organizations that can exist in the society. Mongols have interests valued greater than parties.
We still can’t do away with the old habit – dividing into parties and trying to appropriate success and achievements on own names. In any civil nation, there are certain things that are not possessed, that have nothing to do with political parties. There are individuals who associate their own success and achievements with their parties. I also do understand leaders and members who cry out loudly in the ecstasy of love to their parties. I served both as a party leader and a common member, I know both the goods and bads.
I am glad that the Mongolian People’s Party did manage to resolve its party name issue, discussed for so many years.The Democratic Party has launched and holding a nationwide constructive discussion on the development and prosperity of Mongolia. Other political parties are also expressing their ideas and thoughts and are being vocal.
The notion and concept about a political party, its role in the society, mission, mandate, duties and activities have gone way too astray of the needs and requirements of the present and future. Our political parties are frozen and numb in the shadow of the rules and regulations, laws and acts that we set in the past years. There is no any new party. The progress in our political parties does not go any further from copying and pasting the structure and organization of the MPRP of pre-democratic revolution time. Obsolete organization following old patterns and structures do not yield anything new.
The new times require new solutions, new organization, new party, new policies. New politics necessitates new approaches to solutions, new methods, new images. First, we must renew the law on parties. All political parties established by the old law must be dismantled. According to the new law, parties must renew their organization and register anew. The parties may have a right to retain their name and preserve their histories.
Now we need changes not in the names but in the contents and substance of parties. Let us decide whether parties have membership. Let us resolve parties’ properties, parties’ office spaces. Commensurate to the representation ratios in the Parliament and local Khurals [local Parliaments] let the State provide office spaces and premises. I regard parties as organizations to serve the public. A party is not a business entity. It is not a place for those with power and wealth to harbor, grow and multiply. Parties are numerous, but Mongolia is one. We must move from a partisan society to a civil society.
Honorable Members,
The Centenary and Natural Resources: At the beginning of the last century some people noted that Mongolia looked as if was in extinction. I take the author of those notes to be astute about our ills but insensible about our merits. I never agree to any contentions that Mongolia was on a verge of perishing. We can never let our fathers and forefathers be disgraced. This will be a blasphemy. I am happy we all agree on the opposite – that a hundred years ago Mongolia rose, fought and prevailed.
Today, one hundred years later, experts’ outlook and conclusions about Mongolia are optimistic and positive. Mongolia is enlisted as one of the countries with the highest rate of growth. I regard these analysts and experts see Mongolia’s opportunities and potentials optimistically. But the challenges must be addressed and resolved by ourselves.
The discussions about Mongolia’s growth, opportunities and challenges are associated with the natural resources. I believe that Mongolia will prosper and develop using our natural resources rightly. And the reason is that our people are becoming increasingly aware and cognizant of the fact they are the owners of that wealth. There were times when the mineral exploration permits (as we say ‘license’)criss-crossed almost half of our total territory. Now their number has shrunken three-fold and heads to less than 15%. Still, we cannot be sanguine yet.
There are many who stalk in await for special permits to be released. A lot needs to be done. Every single permit in the bags and hands of Mongols and foreigners are being examined by competent and relevant offices. Certain conclusions will be drawn. Not a single revoked special permit must be released. In addition, recently I provided directives to relevant authorities to examine the state of special permits, both mining and exploration, within 200 km of the Mongolian borders. I urge the State Great Khural to expeditiously approve a law extending the term of the ban on issuance of special permits for exploration until a new Minerals Law is passed.
We are far from fully resolving the minerals and minerals permits related issues. A package of Minerals Laws is being developed. Separate laws will be adopted. Besides, many laws will have to be revised. Upon open and thorough discussions all together we must establish a neat legal and regulatory system in the minerals sector. By new law, we will stop trading our wealth with a piece of paper called “special permits”. We shall abandon the rampantdisorder of issuing special permits by “first come – first get” principle. Instead, permits will be issued by open and competitive bids. This principle will be abided by in all phases of mineral development - mineral surveying and prospecting, exploration, mining and processing.
Anyone who wants to do business in minerals in Mongolia will have to develop a detailed plan and enter into an agreement. Those documents will encompass all issues to be regulated, including citizens’ rights, income distribution, environmental conservation, mine closure etc. The right to grant the first and basic mineral right shall be preserved with the local community, in the people’s right.The right of the Mongolians to be the owners of their mineral wealth shall be guaranteed.
It will be required for the Mongolian party and\or the Mongolian company share to be more than 51% if the exploration was conducted by the government budget funds. The Law is being developed to secure Mongolia’s share to be at least 34% and more even if a foreign investor 100% financed the exploration. If 51 and 34% were ceilings for Mongolia’s stake in the past, those will now be the floors. These will be the starting levels of Mongolia’s stake. These numbers were applicable only to the deposits of strategic importance in the past, but by new law, they will apply to all deposits. Let the owner own his wealth, let him dispose those assets for his\her development and prosperity.
I just have shared with you with some of the principles I maintain, as the initiator, in drafting of the Minerals Law. Let those who are interested be aware of. Generation of ideas and discussions thereof to secure our people’s rights to be the owners of their assets and to effectively use those rights, should continue. If Mongolia’s development and prosperity in the nearest future are to depend on minerals, we must place our concerted attention to this issue.

Honorable Members,

The Centenary and Housing:I haven’t tried to prioritize the issues I am raising and discussing here, that need to be addressed and resolved in the nearest future. Any one of them is a pressing issue for our society, so it really doesn’t matter which gets solved first.

The most pressing issue for our citizens, especially for young families and youth is that of housing. Most of the people sitting in this Hall, I assume, are representatives of citizens who have already solved their housing needs. However, you need to recall and remember the days when you didn’t have an apartment of your own. There’s a phase in one’s life where his/her most important goal is to have a house of one’s own. Individuals’ and families’ happiness, to some degree, is defined by having a home to live in. Those who have reached or found a way to reach that goal become more determined, hardworking and responsible. Thus, the issue of housing helps shape not only the happiness of a family, but it also makes the society more civic, more responsible and more creative. People aspire for, work hard, cherish and protect such a society, such a hard-won happiness and wellbeing.

The government’s responsibility lies not inproviding all families with large housing with many rooms, but it lies in creating the conditions for affordable housing. I have looked into many countries’ experiences and ideason this issue and concluded that implementing a policy of providing apartments the size of 40 m2 for young families as well as families which need cheap housing would be feasible in various ways. The size of the apartments can be 20-30 m2 depending on the people’s demand and needs.

The government doesn’t have to compete with private companies in the luxurious housing market. Providing the citizens with affordable, comfortable and small apartments is priority. Supporting this kind of initiatives by implementing a specific policy which solves the land, infrastructure, transportation and communication issues is the government’s job. Taking advantage of the opportunity is up to the citizens and small businesses.

This issue was actually discussed at a Parliamentary session several years ago. However, it hasn’t become a reality to this day. Either the people responsible before the government for implementing the project are not doing their job or the government is meddling too much into unnecessary projects and businesses, while ignoring the most vital issues for people’s lives.

I think the issue of having housing with electricity, hot & cold water, road and properly planned landscape, is not just the capital city’s problem. Such projects need to be implemented throughout all urban areas and towns including provincial and soumcenters. We have to get rid of the 100- year-old practice of boiling a kettle of water and taking turns to wash up [after having the children fall sleep]. If this situation cannot be changed and resolved, everyone statesman must be ashamed to say “I can solve your problems, I can solve your issues, but elect me first”.

Honorable Members of the Parliament,

The Centenary and Soum Centers:I would like to appeal to you to translate into reality the “New SoumCenter” project. It’s true, it hasn’t been long since some Mongolians have dismantled their ger and moved into a house, dismounted off a horse and ride buses and cars. started living in an apartment and riding not a horse but bus. Mongolian nomads have spent enough time living as nomads, and urbans – living a settled life.

Here in Mongolia, we don’t have two kinds of Mongolians - Ulaanbaatar’s Mongolian and a countryside Mongolian, a rural Mongolian and an urban Mongolian. Anywhere in the country people want to live a comfortable and nice life. Let us renovate oursoum centers, built in1920s and 1930s. A long time has passed since our soum centers have become like ragged, shabby old “gers”. Most of the buildings are too old for remodeling, and in some cases it is more effective to build a new one than to try to fix and repair.

Every soum should make a plan for renovation and the government can set the standards and qualifications for it. Asoum could layout its plans for school, hospital, kindergarten, sports and cultural center, government and service offices, garden, roads and apartment planning to meet modern standards.

The state could implement this mega project, beginning with the soum which brings onto the table the best planning and standards. It’s obvious that someday our soum centers and towns will meet modern living standards.However, let’s not wait for that day, let’s start from today.

Honorable Members of the Parliament,

The Centenary and the Capital City: Ahundred years have elapsed since “IkhKhuree” was named “BogdKhaan’sNiislelKhuree” and a flag with “Soyombo” embedded on yellow silk was raised here. Ulaanbaatar has many issues to solve. The capital city is carrying at least twice as much load as before, pretty much in all terms. Ulaanbaatar should have a maximum population of 600,000 people, however it is now a home to 1,200,000. Our city and district authorities used to strive to solve the problems they faced and usually reached fruitful results until mid 90s.But the situation has changed – capacities have depleted, issues are not resolved, instead, they are complicated so that they compete to gain benefits.

In addition to 40% of Mongolia’s total population, Ulaanbaatar homes 90% of all powers. Because the central government doesn’t transfer any powers to local governments, the local governors have apparently developed a new “road map”, which leads “to UB to work, and to Hainan to vacate and rest”. To find solutions to the capital city problems one must inevitably deal with “human centralization” and “power centralization”.

It has been quite some time since we’ve talked about relocating universities outside the city. Once the moving process is over, the capital city’s population burden to decrease by more than 200,000 people – students, and with them all the service peopleand service facilities – transport, railroad, warehouse, etc - would all move out of UB. The way for solving this urban concentration problem is to move the state central administrative organizations by establishing satellite towns and cities around UB. Here I’m talking about moving the Parliament, President and Government, judicial offices, ministries and agencies to thesatellite cities. If we manage to achieve this, the capital city’s burden will decrease by another 100,000 people. This will be a concrete and practical beginning of resolving the capital city problems in a comprehensive manner.

Such a major decision would induce changes in the country’s economic live, development patterns, and also in the lives of people, and behavior and plans of businesses. The State is responsible for the healthy and safe living of the people. Thus, there’s no other way but to implement this mission. Most importantly, we cannot forget that taking such a step will open new windows for development. Let’s transform the problems we are faced with into new opportunities for the sake of our country’s development. I say let’s all brace ourselves and strive for this change. If we are really determined to solve the problems, solutions will be found, if not – there could be made up enough excuses. We have discussed on numerous occasions the reasons and causes of the problems and difficulties; now let’s discuss solutions.

Let’s regulate the capital city re-development issues by law. Let’s establish a unit, an official in charge of this very matter. Let us appoint an official of a Deputy Prime Minister’s rank, whose work doesn’t depend on election results, one who is capable and eager to advance this cause. Let’s have new urban development ideas and initiatives compete amongst each other.

No one, not a single Mongolian will benefit from the problems and disasters happening in our city, foreveryone is paying the cost. The Ulaanbaatarians’ health problems will affect our gene pool. The capital city has become a disaster zone. Aerial view of the city is not visible anymore. For those on the ground, nothing but the emergency light can save lives.

There was a time when our capital city made our country look beautiful.Not anymore; now it makes Mongolia look ugly. It has become a place of frustration and irritationfrom where not only Mongolians, but good-willed people who came to work and live here, would want to flee afar. The city’s air pollution and traffic jam are not only harmful for the residents, but they are factors which pull Mongolia’s development down. The smoky air of Ulaanbaatar chokes our competitiveness away.

The State exists to solve these and other issues I discussed earlier. As I understand, for that very purpose people establish their States. As I understand, our people trusted us, voted to elect and delegate powers and duties, and also are paying our salaries. Carving out from their own food and clothing, they pay for our salaries and pay our expenses. True, Mongolia’s State will dwell eternally, however, the opportunities, full powers and the age of those who are working and are to work are limited. We, today’s policy and decision makers may not leave the pressing issues of today for tomorrow. More specifically, the State should not collect the creams and leave the people, our next generation, our children fight over leftovers. Problems of today must be resolved by the people sitting in this hall who are obligated to resolve them.

Honorable Members of the Parliament,

The Centenary and Justice: Todaywe’re paying respect for the 100thanniversary of a great revolution which happened in the beginning of the last century. In less than 10 days, Mongolia will also celebrate another important date, the 20th anniversary of the new, democratic Constitution of Mongolia. Let me congratulate in advance those who have taken part in the adoption of our new Constitution. Even though celebrations are happening one after another, we have much to solve, and I’m talking about the most pressing few today. Although I did not prioritize them in order, I could not leave those issues untouched.

We talked a lot about justice and are striving to bring it in its full form. I have submitted to the Parliament a package of laws as well as individual laws aimed atgiving impetus to bringingabout and consolidating justice in the society. More are being drafted as well. But I won’t talk about them today, I will, however, talk about the people, specifically those who have worked for many years for the police, prosecutor’s office and courts.

There’s an advantage in working for the same sector for a long time. One gains experience,learns what to do in the field and his/her work yields positive results. People put their trust and appoint some officers for lifetime,or until old-age retirement by law. Some will not agree if I say those who are working for the judiciary are all honest and uncorrupt. On the other hand, I will not agree if someone says those who are working for the judiciary are all dishonest people.

There are many people, especially in the judiciary, who are ethical and responsible. I believe there are many police officers, prosecutors, judges who are honest at all times as well as experienced at their job and well respected by their colleagues.

However, there are many issues which have not been solved for long in these three institutions. Most of them can be solved. The state has always solved these kinds of issues before, thus, it can do it again. One of the personnel-related issues which have not been talked about much is that of wealthy colonels in the police. Wealthy officers are not limited to the police, the prosecutor’s office and courts have them too. I am talking about those who have gone from office to office, title to title escalating in rank and position, but whose work doesn’t show any improvement or result, yet who take advantage of their title to suppress the people and violate the law. I am talking about those who are legally appointed but have become wealthy as of the sudden and in an unlawful manner.

It has been a long time since the talk about those arrogant people who use the state as a weapon to threaten others and act as if there’s no law has spread. Even though they have a duty to enforce the law, they violate it and even though they swore to justice, they do the unjust. I heard about police officers and prosecutors who are on the deficit-hampered government payroll, who wear the uniform and receive the benefits their title brings, but oddly who are rolling in their wealth. Not just I, Mongolia has heard of them. They cannot betray the trust of the people. There can’t be law enforcers who distort and deform law.

People are talking about these people, even their colleagues are talking. Media is writing about them some bits too. Everybody knows and senses that there are ills there. But for what reason hasn’t it stopped already! It is as if a system that rewards vulgar violators of the law is in place in our country!

If this is the case, then we have to get rid of this vicious circle! This is the only way to develop and guarantee a promising future in this country. Justice cannot be brought in unjust ways. Values of a society and good things cannot be brought through malicious methods. Such phenomenon should not be accepted by anyone or any society.

What are we ought to do? I have been thinking about how to change this situation. I offer some solutions. Let us all openly discuss. I stand ready to support any solution, every way out of this dreadful situation. And there are experiences of other countries to look at as well.

Let’s take professional examinations from department heads and higher ranking policemen as well as prosecutors working at the same leveland those who’ve worked in the sector for 20 plus years. Let’s register their assets in detail. Let’s obtain explanations for their assets. Let’s determine their monthly and annual income and estimate the average. If their income comes from lawful source and is higher than a small business owner’s, then let’s advise them to go into the private sector; if it’s found illegally, then let’s penalize them.

It’s not easy to work for the police, prosecutor’s office as well as the court for many consecutive years, because these are heavy-load, tough jobs for one’s physical and mental health. If a person makes a request to quit, let’s have the government provide him/her benefits, pension etc., Even additional bonus can be allotted to employees who are honest and hardworking and let’s require from the rest to work with honesty and integrity. Let’s hold accountable the people who violate the law. Let’s support those who meet lawful qualifications. Most importantly, let’s give young, capable, highly qualified, honest employees the opportunity to be promoted and give back to the society.

Perhaps I have addressed bitter words to the civil servants of some sectors. Let’s be tough towards the wrong and lenient towards the right. If the MPs and citizens have things to say on how to resolve these issues, I am ready to listen. Looking at others’ experience is also one way to solve our problem. Wide-ranging discussions among political parties, the public and media are good too. Let’s all discuss and think hard about the right and wrong, then solve our problems and make our decisions, approve our laws and acts.

Happyand affluent doesn’t solely depend on state aid or money; it is based on just social structure and relationship. Most disorderly situations, revolutions and conspiracies have more to do with unjust/unfair situations rather than poverty. We don’t need that. We have the opportunity to improve our social situation by discussing and deciding among ourselves in a lawful manner. It seems some people are sick and tired of celebrating numerous anniversaries of achievements and revolutions. The most outstanding, special ones should be duly celebrated in due manners and respect by the State, and others let be left to others who are relevant or entitled. It is better that the government organizes the ones that aresignificantto the whole nation and really celebrate them, and leave the rest to the relevant organizations to celebrate. I think, the 100thanniversary of our freedom and independence is the most important date of the century. As I said before, great deeds are always done for the good of the people.

Honorable Members of the Parliament,

The Centenary and the Mongolians:When struggling to regain our nation’s freedom and independence, our ancestors were supported my many fellow Mongolians. After having scattered widely and returned, Mongolians used to warmly welcome each other. This is how our land became whole again and our fellow Mongolians gathered together in our homeland again. As citizens of Mongolia, Khalkha, Dorvod, Kazakh, Uriankhai, Zakhchin, Buriad- areall Mongolians. Besides us who live in Mongolia, many Mongolians live overseas in the outer world.

As a person holding the state seal, I would like to appeal to the people of Mongolia, “Let’s be many, let’s grow in number, let’sgather at our birthplace.” I’m appealing as the President of Mongolia, to every Mongolian, every Mongolian soul and heart that beats for Mongolia. Our ancestors wished and dreamt of living happily and growing in number at this land generation after generation. Mongolians say that “Person added is food added. May the children of Mongolia grow many”. There were times in our history when we flourished and prospered, and times we were weak and down. Now the time for us to build and develop together is coming. We have the opportunity to decide our fates. We have our hearts to minds to long for our children, home and native shores. My Fellow Mongolians, do come back to your country and show us what you can do, what you can build, I invite you all back to your home, to your country.”

From the high State rostrum, I am addressing these words not only to my fellow citizens, but to all proud descendants of Mongols, who know and carry the Mongolian language, traditions and culture. I am saying these words for only the prosperity and wellbeing of my country.

We have lots to accomplish in order to live happily in our beautiful country. Many issues are waiting for our decisions too. We have to discuss our population, gene pool, health and many other issues. If we don’t decide and act, no one will do for us. If the State of Mongolia doesn’t solve the problems in these areas, no one else will.

It is no use in waiting from afar for Mongolia to develop itself and a comfortable living condition to establish itself. I appeal that everyone participates in the great cause of making our nation flourish both in mind and body.

My Fellow Mongolians, dear friends,

Having regained our freedom and independence, our statesmen paid very keen attention to issues of vital importance, one of which was our external environment. BogdoKhaan sent letters to Heads of States of 9 countries expressing Mongolia’s interest to develop diplomatic, trade, political, humanitarian relations and friendship. Since the down of the century, counting from one and onwards, today we established and maintain diplomatic relations with 161 countries. We have been receiving others’ assistance and cooperating with them; we also started to lend a hand to other countries in need too. Just one example is that our peacemakers are fulfilling their duty with respect and integrity in many hot spots in many parts of the world.

Mongolia is without a doubt one of the countries leading the movement of freedom, peace and prosperity. The Community of Democracies has put her trust in Mongolia by transferring the Presidency of the organization to us. We have experiences to share with others as a nation who has been learning from the revolution and social transformation we’ve been going through. We don’t intend to teach and preach others. Our pride lies in sharing with others with our achievements and successes in practicing democracy. I have made initiatives and ideas in this regard before, and have talked about parts of it today too. I have exchanged views with relevant authorities as well.

Important political campaign, discussions and competitions are ensuing not long from now in our country. Nationwide election campaign is not only a matter of politics. This entire process is a significant one because it’s a time where our people discuss what the country has accomplished in the past few years and determine their choice. It’s a responsible time which reveals that the people practice their rights and democracy is in action. Long pending and lengthy legislations are being finalized, but their implementation and enforcement are of utmost importance.

Our country’s name and democracy are hurt not by bad laws; the people are victimized and the society is disrupted by the intentional wrongdoings of selfish and irresponsible officials who swore to implement and follow the law and who receive salary and bonus. Let me warn you in advance that if problems arise, there’s no such thing as showering you with office and title. Be responsible for your own action. Citizens’ right to elect and be elected should be implemented unwaveringly. Only those who can act so may work, the others must leave. Let me say it again, there’s no room for making a mistake, conspiring and pleasing each other.

Our wellbeing depends solely upon us ourselves. Mongolia’s success is that of millions and millions of our citizens.To aspire more and more heights, we need to learn to unite based on the collective and common interest. We don’t need extreme division, extreme alienation, extreme reversal or denial. The nation’s common immunity and theability to unite should not jeopardized and victimized. At times I fear if we might lose the ability to unite and become others’ game. We have to draw due conclusions here.

Our nation’s freedom and independence, our people’s freedom and rights, peaceful life and happiness are most important of all for us.This is in essence is the reason we live. The people of Mongolia have a wonderful future. We do have splendid opportunities for our people make their destinies, owners of our fates. The Mongolian State originates from its citizens. And it has a supreme mandate to serve to the wellbeing of its people. No one fate can be compared with the beautiful and noble fate to serve to secure common interests and benefits of our people by the free choice of the people. Let us all stand tall together to safeguard our common benefits, unite and develop our country to achieve lasting prosperity and prevail through generations.

May my Mongolia flourish and prosper.

May Mongolia dwell eternally.


December 28, 2011
The State Palace