For some background on the articles below go to http://oreaddaily.blogspot.com/2006/04/speaking-of-mongolia.html
The following two reports are from the blog Mongolia.neweurasia.
Protests in Mongolia, Day 9: Gers Destroyed, Police and Protesters Fight
April 13th, 2006 by Luke
Today the protests in Mongolia have been heavily challenged by the Police and Soldiers of the current government.
Fights broke out on Sukhbaatar square and around the government building. The police broke one of the protester’s gers, and all the gers were taken down. The MPRP which is in control of this police and soldiers has also hired college students from the police and military colleges to help in the enforcement.
At least three gers have been destroyed by the police while the protesters were attempting to take them. Some of the protesters have been trying to set the gers up on the back side of the government building.
The gers that the police men have been able to take away from the protesters have been destroyed right in front of their eyes. A great disrespect, even if you disagree with the protests. It looks as if some people were injured in the clashes with the enforcement.
After these physical struggles the protesters appeared to be more motivated. Today protesters also stood at the main entrance to the government house holding pictures of past Democratic Party members who had all passed away (most of the people whose pictures they were holding are very respected people in Mongolian history).
These physical clashes will in no way disperse the protesters. It will only give them more inspiration and cause to fight for their demands. If the police and soldiers would step out completely and only get involved if the protesters where endangering anyone else’s safety, they would have a much better chance of dispering them, as well as keeping the protests peaceful. Yet when the police make the first move it has the exact opposite effect of what they are trying to do.
Many of the Mongolian citizens have been wondering why the police have been turning on their own people. Many of these police officers are also poor and their children are at the same schools with the protseters’ children. Crime and alcoholism are also huge problems in Mongolia, and people have been expressing their views that the 300+ police officers outside of the governmen building could be much more useful if they were out doing their official jobs, instead of destroying personal property of the activists.
However Tom has just put up some posts that are very contrary to the footage that was just shown.
If the protesters did indeed try to ram their way into the government building, than that is unacceptable. However that footage has yet to be shown on TV.
Updates to come later.
Democratic Party Meets with Protesters
by Luke, posted on Thursday, April 13th, 2006 at 10:03 pm
Ts. Elbegdorj, the leader of the Democratic Party, just met with protesters on Sukhbaatar square.
This is quite important because it is the first time that the DP has taken a serious interest in the protesters. Some of the members of the Democratic Party expressed interest in staying one night on Sukhbaatar square with the protesters.
After members of the Democratic Party met with protesters, Elbegdorj gave a small press conference. He clearly stated that the DP is not supporting the protesters as well as not supporting the current government.
The small interview/press conference just aired on TV about 5 minutes ago, and sitting here at my computer I have translated as much as I could while watching it:
So many people are against this government, both people in the city and people in the countryside. Many people have called us telling us how bad it is and how we need to change the government. We need to change these parliament members in a democratic fashion. The current parliament members are so close together and tight knit that they don’t have any different positions, they are sitting together. Our democratic party is not going to combine with those parliament members who are making conferences or meetings, they are doing nothing for the people. The police also tried to load us and protesters in cars and take us away when we arrived.
The police also tried to remove the gers from the square again, but the Democratic Party was quoted as saying, “We will see what they do when we are there.”
Many of the protesters are elderly, and have expressed great concern that the young and strong policemen are being too rough. Many of these old protesters were members of the MPRP during the Socialist times in Mongolia, and were awarded as state heroes. Some of these people can’t believe how their country has gone in such an incorrect direction.
The fact that the Democratic Party is showing itself with the protesters is important. I don’t believe that they will fully align themselves with them, but if the protesters join in with the Democratic Party, just like the Civil Will Party has done in reference to the proposed shadow government, the DP should have enough power to create a new government and overthrow the MPRP (if they so desire).
Here is a press release just put out by Montsame:
The Chairman of Democratic Party, Mr. Ts.Elbegdorj has sent his proposal to the Mongolian Prime Minister Mr. N.Enkhbold. The proposal reads,”…Many people express their proposals and complains to the Democratic Party about the authorities who do not make any initiative to solve the demands put by several civil movements to the top state institutions of Mongolia. Mister Prime Minister, you have been appealed to pay a special attention to the above issue and to solve the pressing social issues by ways of holding talks with the civil movements. I would like to express my opinion that the Government of Mongolia has possibilities for solving the urgent problems facing Mongolia.”
This is as up to date news as I can get (not having any official press relations). Elbegdorj’s press conference was given around an hour ago (at 10pm UB time) and aired 20mins ago on Eagle TV. It has not been aired on any other news channels yet.