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  Mongolian rock shows stopped
Ray Cheung
South China Morning Post
November 4, 2004



Hundreds of security officials in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region stormed a university rock concert amid fears the event could ignite ethnic protests against plans to develop the grave site of Genghis Khan, according to a rights group.

The rock band Hurd had been due to perform at Inner Mongolia Normal University in the provincial capital of Hohhot last Friday, according to the US-based South Mongolian Human Rights Centre.

After dispersing the 2,000-strong crowd, mostly students from local universities, the authorities immediately instituted a lock down at schools throughout the city, prohibiting anyone from entering or leaving the campuses.

An official from the university hosting the concert said the crackdown was ordered by the provincial government to prevent the crowd from staging a demonstration.

"There were reports that the band wanted to rally the students to protest after the concert. Once the provincial government received word of this, it made the decision to shut down the event," said the official.

He denied that police had imposed a curfew and claimed authorities had given refunds to holders of tickets for the concert.

The crackdown was ordered as ethnic tensions continue to simmer over plans by a Han businessman to tear down the famed Genghis Khan Mausoleum, in western Inner Mongolia, and construct a more elaborate site in a bid to attract tourists.

The plans have outraged the Mongolian community. According to the rights centre, authorities have detained students who distributed leaflets encouraging people to protest the plan.






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