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2012-04-05




THE TENGRI SEAL AND FREEDOM



ADDRESS BY TSAKHIA ELBEGDORJ, PRESIDENT OF MONGOLIA, DELIVERED AT AN HONORARY SESSION OF THE PARLIAMENT OF THE KYRGYZ REPUBLIC,THE JOGORKU KENESH, DURING HIS EXCELLENCY’S VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF KYRGYZ

Bishkek April 3, 2012


Salamattsynarbi, Kyrgyz friends, Саламатцынаарби!

From this respected rostrum, I convey to you the hearty greetings of the Mongolian people. I excitedly looked forward to this day. I ardently waited for this day as if it were a day to meet my native brothers and sisters with whom our paths parted many years ago. I sincerely thank the people of Kyrgyz, the President and statesmen of Kyrgyz Republic for warm hospitality and respect accorded to us.

Mongol and Kyrgyz people are people with a clear footprint in the history and civilization of the humankind, are people of ancient traditions of statehood. Last year in 2011 we Mongols celebrated the 2220th anniversary of our Founding State and the Hunnu State. Traces and trails of Hunnu, Turk, Uyghur, Kyrgyz, Kitan and many other tribes and ethnicities are still preserved in Mongolia. Also the past Year of Rabbit was a year of a centennial of Mongolia’s regaining freedom and independence. The historic anniversaries have given us a chance to weigh up our past, present and future. We, the Mongols, regard both good and bad histories as our teachers, and have always tried to learn from the history, from the past, to make meaningful contribution today for our tomorrow’s wellbeing and prosperity.

Dear Kyrgyz brothers and sisters, our close relatives,

Our two peoples share heavenly roots, we are both ancestors of legendary felt-home dwellers. We, the Mongols, Kyrgyz and Uzbek share one commonality – the blue seal of the Heaven, the Tengri. We ought to live in harmony and friendship. Our fathers and forefathers lived in the same lands, drank from the same waters, prayed to the same Tengri, tended herds and fed our hearth. Our destinies, our tragedies are one. Our heroic history, our pride is one. The famous Orkhon stone inscription carries clear and intact the name Hirghiz to our times. The numerous Hirghiz burial places – the “kerkeksuur” in Mongolian valleys – the sacred sanctities of Hirghiz people – embody the history and memorial historical relics of the Hirghiz people, as our people regard. The famous Khyargas lake amidst the Altain mountain ranges of western Mongolia dwells peacefully with her millennia-old history.

There were times when the Great Khaan Chinggis reigned the land I am standing on today. His sons and daughters, generals and nobles, people and subordinates lived on these lands. And there are many Kyrgyz people who attribute their origin and ancestry to Mongols. I am grateful to you for your respect accorded to the history and traditions of your fathers and forefathers.

And in these ways, one can count many similarities, and also dissimilarities in Mongol and Kyrgyz history. Yet, the spiritual bond between our two peoples has always been tight. We, the Mongols know very well the heroic epoc MANAS, which is the apex of folklore of the nomadic bravado of the Kyrgyz people. My generation has affectionately read the works of Chinghiz Aitmatov. The beautiful mounts and rivers of Kyrgyz, hospitality and warmth of the Kyrgyz people and the modern relations between Kyrgyz and Mongol people are known to the Mongolian people well.

My current visit to Kyrgyz Republic is in the center of attention of our people. There are many Mongolians who regard Kyrgyz their second motherland. Mongolians who studied in Kyrgyz have been making notable contributions to the development and prosperity of Mongolia. One of these people is Jugderdemid Gurragchaa, Mongolia’s first cosmonaut. I invited this esteemed man as my private guest in the Mongolian delegation of my visit to Kyrgyz. Mongolian cosmonaut, born in the bed of the Hugnokhan Mount of Mongolia learned how to fly in the bed of the magnificent mountain Tenger/Tengri of Kyrgyz. The history of our two peoples was cast on earth and blessed by Tengri, isn’t this spectacular merit of our relations once again manifested by this one example.

Many people who wanted to come to Kyrgyz couldn’t come this time because of limited seats in the airplane. And this is, again, a fact which proves that there is a great interest and great opportunities for the peoples of our two counties to cooperation. Clearly, these people will come to Mongolia in the near future. Taking this opportunity, I invite our many Kyrgyz friends to come to Mongolia. In my delegation, in addition to state and government officials, there are representatives of public and civil society organizations. We also have business representatives who already have and also who want to establish business relations with Kyrgyz businesses. We have also brought with us some water from Khyargas lake. The governor of Khyargas soum is in my delegation.

Relations in culture and intellectual sphere between are peoples are extremely important. I am pleased to inform you that we have come in a broad delegation which includes famous Mongolian writers – the wordsmiths, painters, journalists and media people. In the coming days, Mongolia will be full with and delighted to hear news and stories about Kyrgyz and its friendly people. Rest assured, our artists will return home with full sacks of impression, ideas and memories.

Dear Mr. Chairman of the Parliament, distinguished Members,

Mongols are proud of historic choice of the Kyrgyz people, your current success and accomplishments. We know that your path to build free and independent state was not easy. The world has seen how resolute the Kyrgyz people’s struggle for freedom and justice was, how earnest your efforts were for development and prosperity of your country.

I think it is not accidental that the Kyrgyz people held a nation-wide referendum to approve its Constitution (that the Kyrgyz people held a nation-wide debate and discussions for the approval of its Constitution), that it has chosen Parliamentary democracy and consensus as the core form of governance and that it has elected its Head of State through democratic and universal principle.

There is a rich tradition of statehood and rule of law which stem from the nomads’ love for peace and harmony and strict commitment to what was agreed and set at Ikh Khuraldai.

And within these premises, from this respected rostrum I express my sincere wish that all the noble causes and efforts of the President of Kyrgyz Republic Almazbek Atambauyev and his like- minded friends for common benefits and interests, for prosperity and development of the Kyrgyz people, for freedom-loving and just governance, for the wellbeing of the nation with proud citizens – bearers of the Kyrgyz pride “I am, a Kyrgyz” - are fully and successfully accomplished.

I clearly recall my meeting and conversation with the members of the Kyrgyz delegation headed by the Vice Speaker of the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic in September 2011. At that time, in our capital city we were holding a National Forum on Judicial Power and Strengthening Justice. And I hope that my Kyrgyz friends who came to Mongolia on that occasion saw Mongolia’s realities on site, met with different people and gained thoughts and ideas which could prove useful in their cause for justice.

At the times and moments of toughest challenges and choices in the history of any people, the people refer to their wisest sons and daughters. And that leader refers to his or her most trusted friend. And in that very disposition of mind, I think, former President Roza Otunbaeva referred to me in those hard 2010 days.

We have nothing to teach others about. But we have lessons to share. In those days, we, the Mongols, who are going through equally hard path, turns and twists in our course to justice, tried to the fullest share with our learnings and lessons with our Kyrgyz friends.

I reassure that Mongolia will continue to support the free choice of the Kyrgyz people, and that we will share both happiness and hardships just like the children of one family. Mongols say that a friend’s help is never little.

I would also like to highlight that the former President Roza Otunbayeva is a remarkable leader who bravely and boldly made the choice needed for the people at the most critical time in the history of the country, who with dignity accomplished her mission and who left the high seat of the Head of State at her own resolve.

I note that many people in the world respect, admire and value the leadership, courageous resolve and the bold standard she set by her very action, so rare in the modern world’s politics.
Here, I would like to bring up the issue of women’s participation in politics. I strongly believe women’s participation and service in politics to be imperative, for they are gifted with a unique capability to care and support for the elderly and young, weak and strong alike. These are things, we, men, tend to oversee. And because of this capability, a women leader confers all the issues of society the attention and support they deserve.
I also believe that justice and equality are better facilitated when there are more women in politics. Lessons of fallen states show us that their failure was due to fragility of justice and spread of corruption and bureaucracy.
Whatever goods or sweets she could find, my mother used to share it among us, her children, in equal amounts. A woman is more likely to provide equal opportunities, because she is naturally capable of sharing whatever goods or fortunes she has. I am proud to see many women parliamentarians here in Kyrgyzstan.
Even though Mongolia has been a parliamentarian state for twenty two years, the number of women in the parliament has constantly been too low. The new Election law provides that women parliamentarians shall occupy not less than 20 percent of the total seats. Thus, we are now looking for increased number of women in the law-making institute.
As we can witness, success comes to countries and societies which facilitate and encourage women’s participation in politics. And as you are well aware, both in the history of Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, women played an important role. When man were defending and conquering, women were tending to their families, and heeding the affairs of the State. This is a uniqueness which binds us, which sets us apart from other nations. Thus, we shall support women, as that means we are contributing to the well-being for our country.
My wish is to have more women leaders in my country. It is bad news for all of us, when a woman leader loses her position. It is good news for all of us, when a woman leader emerges into a position. Ms. Roza Otunbayeva is one of the brightest examples, which showcases women’s success in the politics, to the world. The world can witness it. Wonderful.
Dear Friends,

The people of Mongolia take pride in our historic choice made in the Year of White Horse of 1990. The democratic movement sprang up in the end of 1989 did achieve its mission peacefully, without breaking a single window glass. People were rendered an opportunity to live a free and independent life.

Mongols are distinguished by the fact that we did conduct simultaneous political and economic transformations in the very heart of Eurasia. We broke the stereotype\dogma that such a change was impossible in any Asian country. We proved that in any country, anywhere in the world, people can live free, can live by their choice.

These years Mongolia is chairing the community of democracies of the world. Did not we only gain our freedom, but we are mandated now to help other peoples gain and secure their freedom and liberties. To accomplish and fulfill this high trust and confidence of the international community, Mongolia is doing her best to act actively. Mongolia is leading the world by her economic growth. Last year our economy grew by 17.5%, which is higher than that of Qatar, which had earlier led others by economic growth rate.

However, it is worth to note that that the successes in our political and economic spheres instigate more caution than pride. “This is not the democracy we wanted. The realities are befitting more to the minority than to the majority in the society” – such criticism is increasingly vocalized in recent years. I am concerned and do also criticize that although our economy is growing, that growth does not enter the homes of the Mongolia people, does not improve the lives of the majority of the Mongolian people.

Although the political and economic powers of the Mongolian people are taken back to Mongolia thanks to democracy, those powers now nest in Ulaanbaatar, in particular, inside and within the government house. It is important of all to cease those powers from government agencies and transfer to the people. If we do not terminate and do away with the Mongolian state serving not the people, but those who are close to power, information and money, if this situation is not changed, the historic choice of the Mongolian people will be endangered.

The essence, the very fundamental nature of the democratic revolution has changed in the modern times. We must all realize that it is no longer about transferring power from one ruler to another. It is about the real transfer of power to the people, it is defined and measured by whether people are empowered. The essence, the meaning of the democratic revolution must be realized by the day-to-day life of the people, their decisions and choices. We must understand that a revolution is measured by the transfer of rights and power.

There can never be any talk about a democracy, a revolution if those groups in power - the minority -is better off, living on and riding on the people and the majority is worse off and is impoverished. It would be better join the call to change this state of affairs.

The Mongolian people have a great sense of freedom. “It is better to live by one’s choice how ever bitter it is rather than live by other’s choice how ever sweet it is” – teaches our people’s wisdom. No one said it is easy to achieve freedom. We have consciously chosen an uneasy course. The dire enemy of an open society is corruption and red-tape. It is common today in this world that freedom and liberties of people are endangered and attacked not by external forces, but by internal. Nations and states are not conquered today by external powers, but endangered, eroded and devastated increasingly by domestic evils.

Even the countries claimed to have the most democratic governments are increasingly becoming the sources of irritation and causes of struggles and movements of their people. Modern democracy needs new order, new norms and benchmarks. Apparently, democracy itself needs a change, a transformation.


Unjust, unfair governments are hated by the people, no matter the country is rich or poor. People are gaining more opportunities to obtain information and their will and desire to live by their choice make havoc the wise decisions of the governments.

Governments are left with no choice but to serve the people’s wishes and interests and enforce and implement law without bias and discrimination. Mongols say “the government has an iron face”. This is a very apt definition of a core feature of any statesman which is grossly and massively missed everywhere. Our forefathers have meticulously foreseen and warned since long ago that the government, its policies and their enforcement should never pamper those with power, with money, and never put down and jab those people who lack power and money.
Working for the government means, as I interpret it, that I, a government public officer, will serve the people and help solve the people’s problems and hardships. It is, in essence, taking up for people’s problem to solve them for the people. I regard a government worker as a hired by the people person who consigns his own good to the people and accepts the people’s miseries onto himself. I demand such an attitude from each government officer at each and every level.

In all these years of my serving to the people, I realized one virtue for sure. That is a principle “when in power, be just, be fair”. Justice demands enforcement. Be just when you have power, office, when you are a boss. Work not for your own self, but for others. Do not steal from others. Touch hot stones for others. Do not chase easydoing. Tame the hardships. If you can’t, just leave, leave the government. Remember, in a free society, everyone can live a good life without working in the government.

I realized all this not because I am special. I learned this from my people who felt and sensed freedom, who earned wisdom through hardships and toil. I think, freedom never hides its shadow. Freedom is a never-ending learning process. Therefore, how ever severely it’s hit and worsened, it always heads up to better. In other words, I believe in the power of freedom. Creativity accompanies only those who are free. Creative and constructive person is responsible. A responsible person is aware of his or her rights and duties. Such person never offends and fails others. Such people embrace order, peace, unity and harmony. In this way, freedom, prosperity and peace are built into each other, they dwell in each other. Therefore, I support concentrating more power and freedom to the people and less of those to the government.

Mongolia today has no government’s public organization. Neither there is a government’s media. In Mongolia we are shifting away from government’s participation more to citizens’ participation, citizens’ criticism. I deem this is a good tendency. In Mongolia one can hear more criticism on issues around mining than extols and praising songs of parties and their leaders. Those people who criticize corruption and red-tape outnumber those who support parties.

I do believe in the future of my country. And the reason is, our people’s participation in defining the fate and future of Mongolia is increasing, our people are becoming more and more capable on this cause. A new generation of Mongols with brand new values, new ideas and solutions is rising. And their time is coming.

Though there are many things in Mongolia one can criticize, thanks to democracy, there are also good news. Free people create spectacular marvels and miracles. Only free people deliver good news. After all, development and prosperity are increasingly mastered and authored not by governments, but by people, free people. The future progress of any society is brought about not by the politicians, but clearly, by the people, freed from them. This is a proof that the development and prosperity is cast and molded not by politicians, but by free, independent producers and free citizens.

Struggle for freedom never ends. It may be identified with our planet – when one corner of the Earth is sunny, the other part is shadowed, but the earth lives on. In our history, we, the Mongols, made some states build long walls and fortresses. But we shall work fervently to destroy the walls against freedom, internally, and supporting and helping others overcome such walls, externally.

There is no a small nation, small man. Yet, there are nations and people without freedom. I do believe that every man on earth has an opportunity to live a free life. A man’s will and desire to live a free life cannot be restrained forever. Therefore, let us all stand tall together and work hard to near that auspicious time and day when every world citizen enjoys freedom. Let us work together to this cause.

Let the centuries-old friendship of free Mongol and Kyrgyz people further strengthen.

May Mongolia and Kyrgyz flourish forever.

Mongol Khirghiz, esen bolunnuzdar.
Монгол Хиргис, эсен болуннуздар.