Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mongolia Riots: Aftermath 2

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I'm just gonna post snippets of what's happening in general, so it'll be a bit disorganized.

Independent media services, TV and FM radio stations, have all been shut down. Olloo.mn and gogo.mn services have been suspended, I believe, as I cannot access them. The government has deployed police patrols and state troops to secure all strategic assets as a part of the President's decree, including power, water, heating distribution centres, pumps, waste disposal centres, drinking water sources, gas stations, oil storages and main food factories.

The emergency Parliamentary session scheduled at 10am was postponed till later this afternoon, as the National Security Council convened in the morning.

Further to the news about civilians getting shot outside Hospital 1, Amarbold, head of the Central Police Bureau, in a brief interview printed on news.mn, clarifies that the police did not fire live rounds at civilians, and further goes on to state that there are civilians who own firearms and it is not possible to ascertain the source of the fire exchange at this point.

The leaders of Civic Movement and Mongolian Republican Party, O.Manlai, J.Batzandan & B.Jargalsaikhan are hurriedly distancing themselves from any involvement with the riots.
B.Jargalsaikhan of the MRP stated that he had closed off the demonstrations officially and left the grounds at 4pm in the afternoon on Tuesday, an hour or so before the demonstrations turned violent.

A number of cultural centres have been ransacked during the chaos, including the Morin Khuur Ensemble building, Philharmonic Orchestra, Modern Art Gallery and Central Cultural Palace. While the buildings sustained minimal damage, the offices were looted and most of the instruments of the Morin Khuur Ensemble and Philharmonic Orchestra were stolen or destroyed. The National Chamber of Commerce and Industry has set up a donation fund for the public to contribute in the rebuilding process of these cultural centres. Further details are available on news.mn.

The number of dead is now confirmed at 4 though there could be more. There are many injured, some in intensive care in the hospitals.

Lastly, this is probably not the best time to wander about the city if you've had a few drinks. Sale and distribution of alcohol are prohibited during the state of emergency, and the police are quick to arrest inebriated civilians wandering about city centre.

Update: The National Security Council meeting has been postponed till tomorrow, as a Cabinet meeting as well as a Parliamentary session were scheduled for today. Parliamentary session postponed till 5pm today, as many members had not yet returned to the capital from the rural regions after their campaigns.

718 civilians have been detained by the police for questioning. News.mn reports of police using violence on detainees during the interrogation process at a Denjiin Myangat temp detention centre.

Foreign embassies in central Ulaanbaatar have been provided with added security, among them the embassies of Turkey, China, Japan, Russia, Bulgaria and S.Korea.

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