On June 13, 2009, Mr. Sodmongol, web administrator of Mongol Ger Association (www.mongolger.net), one of the most popular Mongolian internet sites, was summoned to the Propaganda Department Internet Management Center of Chao Yang City, Liao Ning Province. Mr. Sodmongol was questioned about his activities in relation to the internet site.
Later that day, Mr.Sodmongol posted an article on the Mongol Ger Association website using his real name publicizing the questions he was asked. He revealed that this investigation was ordered by the Central Government of China through the Internal Reference (“Nei Bu Can Kao” in Chinese), a 40+ page secret document compiled by the New China News Agency (Xin Hua News) twice weekly to provide classified information regarding important domestic developments to regional and divisional level middle and high ranking Party members.
Mr.Sodmongol, a Mongol from Southern Mongolia’s Ongniud Banner, works as a Mongolian Language teacher in Chao Yang County, Liao Ning Province.
As one of the major gathering sites of Southern Mongolian internet surfers, Mongol Ger Association has been very active in advocating the promotion and protection of Mongolian people’s legal rights to practice their culture, language and tradition. Main topics published on the site are China’s ethnic policies toward the Mongols, environmental issues including “Ecological Migration” Project and “Livestock Grazing Prohibition Policy”, cultural assimilation and elimination of Mongolian language education, and other subjects related to Mongolian people around the world.
The following is an English translation of the article posted by Sodmongol on the Mongol Ger Association website (http://www.mongolger.net/ug/show.asp?id=6997 ):
Today I was summoned by the Propaganda Department Internet Management Center of Chao Yang City and questioned about our internet site as follows:
- What is the purpose of the site;
- Where does the funding come from and specifically if any funding comes from any foreign country;
- What are the contents of each section of the site and if approval from the government regarding the contents was obtained;
- The site’s management and structure, who are the web administrators and if they get paid or not;
- Details on the web server and if there is any free discussion forum hosted by it;
- The management details of the site’s Bulletin Board System (BBS), how many administrators work on it and what they do;
- Has there been any content posted in relation to issues of independence of Tibetans, Mongols and Uyghurs. If yes, how were they handled;
- If there is any relationship with foreign countries and foreigners; has there been any news article from the independent country of Mongolia posted on it;
- The number of hits to the site and the identities of the site visitors;
- Who are the contributors and donors to the site;
The investigators revealed that this was ordered by the Central Government through the Internal Reference.