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  Mongolian music concerts cancelled over fears of tensions on Chinese campus

Agence France Presse -- English
November 2, 2004
Tuesday 2:34 PM GMT

Two concerts by a Mongolian folk music group were cancelled in late October at a university in northern China's Inner Mongolia province due to fears of ethnic problems, students and a human rights group said Tuesday.

"The concerts of the Hurd were cancelled because the group is linked to a Mongolian tribe that is opposed to the privatisation of the mausoleum of Genghis Khan," a student who asked not to be identified told AFP by telephone.

Some 2,000 students had gathered to attend the concert.

Other students at the Inner Mongolia Normal University in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, confirmed the incident.

They said police blocked access to the campus on October 30, the date of the planned concert, from morning until midnight, only allowing students to enter after checking their IDs.

"We can get out of the school, but we have to show our student ID to get in because they want to prevent other people from entering our school," said a Han Chinese student.

"There are still 20 or 30 policemen around our school gate."

Anti-riot police were in the school and on other campuses in the city, according to the sources.

Rumors of arrests of ethnic Mongolian students were circulating on the campus but could not be verified.

University authorities refused to comment.

The New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center said the concerts were supposed to be the first performances in Inner Mongolia by the group from Ulan Bator, capital of neighbouring Mongolia.

A concert was also scheduled to be held on October 22 at another school.

In that case, the organization and the students said, local authorities also feared trouble.

Several Mongolian students were detained and many were questioned for organizing a gathering to watch the concert, the group said.

The Hurd, a popular band from Ulan Bator, is linked to the Darhad, a Mongol tribe which has been at the vanguard of protests against government plans to privatize the mausoleum of Genghis Khan in Ordos, in western Inner Mongolia.

The site has been maintained by the tribe for hundreds of years, and they also live on tourism profits from the grave claimed by China to be where the Mongolian conqueror was buried, the group said.

"Tensions between the government and the Mongols, especially the Mongol students is escalating," said the wife of a jailed Mongolian dissident, as quoted by a statement issued by the Southern Mongolia Human Rights Information Center.

China claims Genghis Khan's mausoleum is located in Ejin Horo Banner on the Ordos highlands, but the burial site of Khan, who died in 1227, is disputed.





From Yeke-juu League to Ordos Municipality: settler colonialism and alter/native urbanization in Inner Mongolia

Close to Eden (Urga): France, Soviet Union, directed by Nikita Mikhilkov

Beyond Great WallsBeyond Great Walls: Environment, Identity, and Development on the Chinese Grasslands of Inner Mongolia

The Mongols at China's EdgeThe Mongols at China's Edge: History and the Politics of National Unity

China's Pastoral RegionChina's Pastoral Region: Sheep and Wool, Minority Nationalities, Rangeland Degradation and Sustainable Development

Changing Inner MongoliaChanging Inner Mongolia: Pastoral Mongolian Society and the Chinese State (Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology)

Grasslands and Grassland Science in Northern ChinaGrasslands and Grassland Science in Northern China: A Report of the Committee on Scholarly Communication With the People's Republic of China

The Ordos Plateau of ChinaThe Ordos Plateau of China: An Endangered Environment (Unu Studies on Critical Environmental Regions)
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