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USMBC supports Mongolia Institute for Buddhist Art (MIBA)

In behalf of Chairman Jalsa Urubshurow and Vice Chairman Jim Wagenlander, Council President Steve Saunders (front left) presents equipment to MIBA Deputy Director S.J. Kim and MIBA students in UB.

The USMBC last summer presented two new sewing machines, other equipment and a cash contribution to the Mongolian Institute of Buddhist Art (MIBA), located within the Gandan Monastery compound in Ulaanbaatar. This was the second delivery of equipment to MIBA by the USMBC.

Founded and headed by the Buddhist artist and religious leader Purevbat Lam, MIBA is a degree-granting academic institution that trains new artisans in traditional Mongolian and Tibetan techniques of lamist Buddhist art, which Purevbat has painstakingly rediscovered and revived. These techniques were almost completely lost as the result of the Communist repression and the destruction of Mongolian monasteries starting in the 1930's.

MIBA supplies traditional religious objects to the growing number of reestablished temples and monasteries in Mongolia. Sewing machines were needed for making and repairing Tsam Dancing costumes. Chairman Jalsa Urubshurow and Vice Chairman Jim Wagenlander initiated a USMBC support program for MIBA, following the critically-acclaimed and spectacular exhibition of MIBA art works at the Mongolian National Gallery of Art in September-October 2000.

MIBA survives only through private contributions. Their students live under austere, almost ascetic monastic conditions; the institute often has only a 10-day supply of food for the students, pending receipt of new contributions.

They are currently seeking donations of used equipment. Any form of power supply system is fine, they can find adapters. (1) Used electric power tools for wood-working, including a router, jigsaw, rotary (circular) saw, table saw, reciprocation saw, electric drill, drill press, wood drills and bits, angle grinder, planer, sander, band saw and scroll saw; (2) Used but still functioning computers, monitors, keyboards & printers; desk top or notebook. Even PCs capable only for word processing are very much useful to MIBA; (3) A used slide projector; they own a screen already.

For further information on MIBA, contact Miss KIM Son Jeong, Deputy Director of MIBA, mobile phone: 976-1-96152737, FAX: 976-1-360354, regular phone: 9761-363831,EMAIL: [email protected]. American taxpayers may make tax-deductible contributions to MIBA through the Zorig Foundation USA, a tax-exempt American 501(c)3 charitable foundation. For further information on that option, contact
[email protected]

Nomadic Expeditions to Excavate Dinosaur Fossil Discoveries in the Gobi Desert Boeing Contributes $10,000 to Red Cross for Mongolia Dzud ReliefNew Member Profile: The Asia FoundationThe Asia Foundation’s “GIVE2ASIA” Program Ambassador Alphonse La Porta Gives Farewell Address to Ikh Hural; Calls on M ongolia to Continue Democratic and Economic ProgressUSMBC Board of Directors and Several Members met with the new American Ambassador to Mongolia, John Dinger, on October 25, 2000The full text of the latest edition of GOBI BUSINESS NEWS (September-November 2000) is available on the Gobi Business News web site of the Gobi Regional Economic Growth Initiative, www.gbn.mn. This project is funded by USAID and managed by Mercy Corps, a Member of the USMBC.Nomadic Expeditions to Excavate Dinosaur Fossil Discoveries in the Gobi Desert: Jamesburg, New Jersey (April 5, 2001) — Internationally-renowned paleontologist Dr. Philip Currie will lead an expedition in September 2001 to the remote fossil beds of the Nemegt Basin and the “Flaming Cliffs,” two of the world’s premier fossil sites located in Mongolia. Working under the auspices of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Currie, Curator of Dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Canada, and Dr. Badamgarav, one of Mongolia’s leading paleontologists, will continue conducting fieldwork in Mongolia with Nomadic Expeditions, the first and largest American tour operator to Mongolia and Central Asia. [USMBC Chairman Jalsa Urubshurow is the CEO of Nomadic] Since 1995, these two eminent scholars have worked alongside expedition members, who will have the opportunity to prospect for and excavate fossils from the awe-inspiring Gobi desert, home to some of the most exciting scientific finds ever discovered. Due to its remote location and difficult terrain, the Gobi is still rich with fossils recording the Late Cretaceous Period, and is considered by many to be the “Mecca” of the fossil world. Among the Gobi’s spectacular sites are the legendary “Flaming Cliffs,” named for the red sandstone that glows a brilliant burnt orange at sunset. It was here Roy Chapman Andrews and his expedition team from the American Museum of Natural History discovered the first nest of dinosaur eggs the world had ever seen. In this rich desert setting, team members can relive this historic discovery when the 2001 Expedition returns to the Flaming Cliffs to unearth a nest of oviraptorid eggs discovered by a member of the 2000 Expedition.
At the base camp in Nemegt Basin, amateur paleontologists will work side-by-side with scholars and professionals excavating significant finds made during the 2000 Expedition, with the possibility of making their own important discoveries. The labyrinth of gorges that comprise Nemegt Basin, discovered in 1946, has yielded excellent specimens of dinosaurs, lizards, and early mammals. Significant finds discovered here on the 2000 Expedition include a partial skull of a Tarborsaurus (a close relative of Tyrannosaurus Rex), which is slated for collection on this expedition, the skeleton of a Saurolophus, and two partial skeletons of Elmisaurus. Expedition members will explore other equally stunning areas of Mongolia which have been untouched by modernization such as Hongoryn Els, which is home to sand dunes reaching upwards of 800 meters and extending parallel to a large part of the Gobi Altai Mountains. Although the scenery is spectacular, its remote location ensures that there are few visitors. Another paleontological highlight is Tugrigiin Shiree. This white sandstone escarpment is where the famous “Fighting Dinosaurs” (a fossil of a Protoceratops and a Velociraptor locked in mortal combat) were discovered in the 1970s.
All arrangements are handled by Nomadic Expeditions, which pioneered cultural and educational travel to Mongolia. With affiliate offices and operations in the United States, Asia and Europe, Nomadic Expeditions is a well-known leader in arranging specialized trips including travel throughout Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Siberia. From natural history, paleontological and cultural explorations, as well as horse and camel treks, kayaking and canoeing adventures.For further details, contact Nomadic Expeditions at 800-998-6634 or 609-860-9008 for information or a free brochure; e-mail: [email protected] or Website: www.NomadicExpeditions.com Boeing Contributes $10,000 to Red Cross for Mongolia Zud Disaster" After two consecutive severe winters and a disastrous summer drought, many Mongolian herding communities have suffered severe losses of livestock and are in dire need of assistance. Boeing has contributed $10,000 to help the Mongolian Red Cross provide food, transistor radios and first aid kits to the most isolated herders. Over a 12-month period, the Red Cross Society/Federation will be assisting families in the eleven aimags (provinces) that have suffered the most.
USMBC New Member Profile: The Asia Foundation: The USMBC would like to welcome its newest member, The Asia Foundation (TAF). As you might recall, the USMBC and TAF have worked to coordinate Mongolia-related events over the past years. We are very pleased to welcome them into the Council.Below, please find information on TAF.THE ASIA FOUNDATION: Utilizing its 44-year presence throughout Asia, The Asia Foundation collaborates with partners from the public and private sectors to build leadership, improve policy and regulation, and strengthen institutions to foster greater openness and shared prosperity in the Asia Pacific region. Priorities include long-term, complex issues that cross national borders, such as:
Effective law, governance, and citizenship;
Open regional markets and local economic opportunities;
Equal partnership and participation of women in all levels of society; and
Peace and stability within the region. With a network of 15 offices throughout the Asia Pacific and the United States, the Foundation addresses these issues on both a country and regional level through leadership and institutional development, exchanges and dialogue, technical assistance, research, and policy engagement. The Foundation's scope of work is wide and far-reaching. In the past five years alone, the Foundation has provided substantial assistance for the development of legislative systems in 16 countries and has supported more than 800 public interest, nongovernmental organizations in the region. Since 1954, the Foundation's Books for Asia program has distributed more than 34 million books to Asian institutions. And of the more than 65,000 Asia Foundation grantees, many are today's leaders in Asia -- including heads of state, ministers, judges, legislators, business and academic leaders, journalists, and leaders of nongovernmental organizations. The Asia Foundation is funded by contributions from corporations, foundations, individuals, governmental organizations in the U.S. and Asia, and an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress. For more information, please visit http://www.asiafoundation.org. New Jersey Tour Operator Provides Desperately Needed Relief Assistance to Mongolian Nomads Severe Winter Conditions Threaten the Lives of Herders:In response to the devastating effects from the severe weather conditions affecting Mongolia’s pastoral nomads and their herds, Nomadic Expeditions, a tour operator based in Jamesburg, New Jersey, launched a relief expedition to deliver five tons of supplies to families living in one of the worst affected areas in Mongolia. Using their expertise as an outfitter and expedition company, Nomadic Expeditions was able to traverse vast distances through difficult driving conditions to Adaatsag County in order to deliver the desperately needed goods. Mongolians call the weather conditions “Zud” (severe winter snow and ice compounded by drought in some areas). The loss of cattle, sheep, and horses currently totals over two million and the Mongolian Government has announced the loss of herds as a national catastrophe. The Mongolian Red Cross estimates that over 315,000 people are at risk (about a quarter of the population in the affected provinces). Nomadic Expeditions donated five tons of supplies, including one ton of dried milk and three tons of millet, with a total value of more than $4,000. In order to ensure goods were fairly distributed, Nomadic Expeditions delivered the supplies to the county mayor’s office, which made an announcement about the donation and evenly distributed the goods between all of the 696 local families. Out of over 130,000 heads of livestock, these families have lost over 23,000 animals. Nomadic Expeditions also delivered supplies directly to three extremely remote settlements of nomads, each comprised of two or three families. Yondon Badral, vice president of Nomadic Expeditions, reported, “The herders were extremely grateful. The weather has been getting warmer and new grass is once again emerging so the adult animals are starting to be able to feed. However, the herders were desperate for dried milk and millet for the newly born animals and we were thanked for bringing the right supplies. After losing so much of their livestock, the nomads’ livelihood depends on increasing the size of their herds.” Nomadic Expeditions, the leading operator of adventure and special interest travel to Mongolia, was founded by Jalsa Urubshurow, a Mongolian American. Mr. Urubshurow explained, “I created Nomadic Expeditions to share Mongolia’s horse-based nomadic culture and pristine landscapes with North Americans. Whenever we visit the home of a nomadic family, they give freely of their food and friendship. When I learned of the growing disaster in Mongolia, I knew that we had to act quickly to help these families. Their herds provide meat and dairy products for daily subsistence, not to mention animal fibers and other goods for cash income. They were being deprived of their basic livelihoods.” Travel to Mongolia remains unaffected as very few travelers visit the provinces that were hit by the winter conditions. Please contact Nomadic Expeditions at 800-998-6634 or 609-860-9008 for additional information about their relief efforts or about travel conditions. PRIME MINISER ENKHBAYAR’s New Cabinet (August 10, 2000): The list of nominees for the new Cabinet has been endorsed by President Bagabandi and the MPRP majority group of the Parliament for the formal consideration by the State Ikh Hural. Please note that some new ministries have been created.The nominees are as follows:
1. Minister for Finance and Economics – Mr. Chultemiin Ulaan, 46, mining engineer and economist, Chairman of the National Development Board (1992-1996), Member of Parliament since 1996.

2. Minister for Foreign Affairs – Mr. Luvsangiin Erdenechuluun, 52, career diplomat, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Deputy Permanent Representative and the Permanent Representative to the UN (1990-1996), Foreign Policy Advisor to the President and the Prime Minister (1997-2000).

3. Minister for Trade and Industry – Mr. Chimidzorigiin Ganzorig, 42, economist, Secretary of the Government Commission for Coordination of Aid (1992-1996), Deputy Director of the Foreign Trade and Cooperation Department of the Ministry of External Relations since 1996.

4. Minister for Infrastructure Development – Mr. Byambyn Jigjid, 55, Minister of Energy, ining and Geology (1990-1996), Chief of the Government Executing Agency since 1996.

5. Minister for Justice and Internal Affairs – Mr. Tsendiin Nyamdorj, 44, lawyer, First Deputy Minister for Justice (1990-1992), MP since 1992.

6. Minister for Food and Agriculture – Mr. Darjaagiin Nasanjargal, 52, veterinarian, Chairman of the Tsagaan Nuur soum committee of the MPRP (1988-1998), Director of the “Tovhon Haan” Co. of the Tsagaan Nuur soum, Selenge aimag (1992-1998).

7. Minister for Health – Mr. Pagvajaviin Nyamdavaa, 53, MP, Doctor of Medicine, Academician, Minister for Health (1990-1996), since 1998 Social Policy Advisor to the President.

8. Minister for Social Welfare and Labor – Mr. Shiilegiin Batbayar, 57, economist, Chairman of the Central Council of the Mongolian Trade Union (1992), MP since 1992.

9. Minister for Education, Culture and Science – Mr. Ayurzanyn Tsanjid, 52, educator, Professor of the Higher Political School (1982-1992), Advisor to the Parliament Speaker (1993-1996), Director of the “Prognosis” Center since 1996.

10. Minister for Environment – Mr. Ulambayaryn Barsbold, 36, commercial economist, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (1991-1992), Director of the Mongolia Business Development Agency since 1994.

11. Minister for Defense – Mr. Jugderdemidiin Gurragchaa, 53, aircraft engineer, astronaut, Chief of the Military Staff for the Air Defense of the Armed Forces since 1996.These candidates will be considered by Parliament for the relevant posts one by one. It is expected that the cabinet candidates will be approved by Parliament because the MPRP has an absolute majority. (Sources -- Ganbold Daily News and Mongolian Ministry of External Relations.