We need to pro­tect the right to protest

The UB Post - - Front Page - By T.BAYARBAT

Some peo­ple protested against fuel price in­creases and claimed that they will keep protest­ing un­til the price of fuel per a liter reaches 1,500 MNT, but when rep­re­sen­ta­tives of these pro­tes­tors met with Prime Min­is­ter U.Khurel­sukh at the State Palace, they spoke dif­fer­ently from what they claimed dur­ing their march against fuel price in­creases.

“We will be with you, you should be strong, our protest and your re­forms are sim­i­lar, 20,000 peo­ple are sup­port­ing you, and we are ready to be im­por­tant pieces of your sword and javelin, and we will beat your en­e­mies,” they told the prime min­is­ter, which sounded ridicu­lous for many peo­ple.

Peo­ple are cu­ri­ous about why these men who de­manded the prime min­is­ter to dis­band his Cab­i­net over fuel price in­creases for­got the main pur­pose of their marches a few days ear­lier af­ter meet­ing the prime min­is­ter.

The pub­lic is spec­u­la­tive about why these pro­tes­tors stopped their march af­ter few days. Did they get bought out af­ter gain­ing the trust of many Mon­go­lian peo­ple who joined the march to make a dit­ter­ence?

...Few peo­ple seek­ing po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests turned the main idea of the right to protest into some­thing that is neg­a­tive...

Mon­go­lians used to see many protests and demon­stra­tion dur­ing spring, but to­day it hap­pens ev­ery sea­son, even in win­ter.

Few days ago, some peo­ple started protest­ing against the small and medium-sized en­ter­prises loan mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion and we saw that dur­ing their marches, a lot of peo­ple were hold­ing signs, which looked uni­form and pro­duced at a hefty cost. It was ev­i­dent that the pro­tes­tors had spent a siz­able amount on their ban­ners.

The pub­lic won­ders about who spon­sored these marches, and ru­mors that peo­ple only join marches for money in re­cent years spread amongst the pub­lic, which seem to be true for the most part. Most peo­ple be­lieve to­day that there is money be­hind marches.

There are ru­mors that the op­po­si­tion party and some po­lit­i­cal par­ties funded doc­tors and pub­lic school teach­ers’ salary de­mands.

Dur­ing the be­gin­ning of the 1990s and demo­cratic tran­si­tion af­ter the col­lapse of so­cial­ism, Mon­go­lians joined marches with­out money and they used their right to free­dom of ex­pres­sion vol­un­tar­ily, but to­day the pub­lic is grow­ing wary and skep­ti­cal of the true na­ture of some marches.

There are many peo­ple seek­ing po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests from the marches and they are mas­ter­mind­ing groups and unions by tak­ing ad­van­tage of marches to ma­nip­u­late the pub­lic.

We saw cars and ef­fi­gies set on fire, naked protest, peo­ple shav­ing their heads, hunger strikes, and peo­ple set­ting them­selves on fire in front of oth­ers as a form of protest.

The right to protest is the fun­da­men­tal right for hu­man rights and demo­cratic so­ci­ety, but peo­ple can­not abuse this right, which will un­der­mine the func­tion and pur­pose of such ac­tiv­i­ties.

Few peo­ple seek­ing po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests turned the main idea of the right to protest, which is a key part of democ­racy, into some­thing that is neg­a­tive.

Af­ter ben­e­fit­ing from protests, those ma­nip­u­lat­ing the pub­lic for­get the peo­ple that demon­strated to ob­tain po­lit­i­cal or state power, which is usu­ally their main goal.

We have not for­got­ten that five in­no­cent peo­ple were killed dur­ing the riot took place on July 1, 2008, which re­sulted from the 2008 par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.

It is com­monly known where the peo­ple who led the 2008 riot are, and they are not in a jail or un­der the ground. They al­ready en­tered pol­i­tics and some of them cap­tured high-rank­ing state po­si­tions.

We need to pro­tect our “great” right to protest and we can­not af­ford to let few schem­ing in­di­vid­u­als to pull wool over our eyes and let them play us like pawns.

Ev­ery­body crit­i­cizes air pol­lu­tion threat­en­ing Ulaan­baatar res­i­dents and vi­o­la­tions of chil­dren’s rights, but not many join such marches to­day for fear of be­ing used in a po­lit­i­cal game.

If we joined demon­stra­tions for chal­lenges fac­ing us to­day, such as air pol­lu­tion or child vi­o­lence, pol­icy-mak­ers would have to lis­ten to our voices and they would be forced to make more ef­forts to ad­dress air pol­lu­tion in Ulaan­baatar and pro­tect chil­dren’s rights across the coun­try.

If we sit idly sim­ply be­cause there are some ma­li­cious peo­ple prof­it­ing from pub­lic protests and do not stand against loom­ing is­sues such as air pol­lu­tion or child vi­o­lence, those fund­ing protests and demon­stra­tions will keep con­trol­ling our right to protest for their per­sonal gains.



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