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  Mongols resist government's plan of privatizing Chinggis Khaan Mausoleum, police impose curfew on college campuses in Inner Mongolia


Southern Mongolian Human Rights

Information Center

New York City

October 31, 2004


According to eye witnesses, October 29, from 8:00am to midnight 12:00am in local time, hundreds of heavy-equipped police and security personnel had imposed curfew on the major campuses of universities in Inner Mongolia including Inner Mongolian Normal University, Inner Mongolia University, and Mongolian Language Professional School in Huhhot, capital city of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. A planned concert by “Hurd”, a popular band from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, at the Inner Mongolia Normal University theater was suddenly canceled just as 2,000 Mongolian students had gathered to watch the concert. “No one was allowed to get in and out of the campus,” says a Mongolian student of the Inner Mongolia Normal University who asked not to be identified, “and under the school authorities’ collaboration many plain clothes security personnel questioned us if we have any plan to ‘make trouble’”. “All of our unsold tickets were confiscated, and all ticket holders were forced to return their tickets,” says another Mongolian student who was one the organizers of this event, “then they forced us to cancel the concert.”

On October 22, a similar event happened in Mongolian Language Professional School. Several Mongolian students were arrested and detained, and many were questioned for organizing a gathering to watch the concert of “Hurde”, a popular band created and performed by several ethnic Mongols in Inner Mongolia. Reportedly, this event was also forcibly canceled by the authorities for the band members’ close link with the Darhad Mongols who have been strongly resisting the local government’s plan of privatizing the Chinggis Khaan Mausoleum. According to several internet forums, since two weeks ago, many Mongolian students have been arrested from Inner Mongolia University, Inner Mongolian Normal University, and Mongolian Language Professional School, and some of them are still being held by the authorities for “distributing leaflets and planning demonstrations.”

As a symbol of the national identity of the Mongols in Inner Mongolia, Chinggis Khaan Mausoleum located in western Inner Mongolia’s Ordos region, has been maintained by the Darhad tribe for hundreds of years. It is considered a sacred site by the Mongols. Even after the Chinese Communist Party set up the so-called “Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region” in 1947, it was still seen as an important expression of the titular autonomous rights of the Mongols in the region. All of the ritual ceremonies and public events at the mausoleum were conducted and performed by the Darhad Mongols until today even though they were carefully planned and monitored by the authorities. However, according to a leaflet distributed among the Mongols in Huhhot City, recently, in order to pay its heavy debt, the local government has decided to sell the mausoleum to a local Chinese company named “Dong Lian”. The company plans to demolish the mausoleum to build up a larger one, which will be called “The Second Chinggis Khaan Mausoleum”, in order to attract more tourists and generate more profits for the owner,  named Hou, a Han-Chinese businessman.

“Any disrespect and damage to the mausoleum should be considered damages and disrespect not only to the Darhad,” the leaflet condemns Dong Lian company’s outrageous actions, “but also to the Ordos Mongols and to the world Mongol community.”

“Tension between the government and the Mongols especially the Mongol students is escalating, and people’s anger is not easily appeased,” Ms. Xinna, wife of Hada, an ethnic Mongolian political dissident who is currently serving his jail term in Inner Mongolia No.4 Prison for organizing a peaceful organization, answered the interview by the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center over the phone. As the prime target of every security tightening and “bitter striking” by the authorities in Inner Mongolia, Ms. Xinna’s family and relatives could not escape police and security personnel’s harassment and intimidation this time as well. “Since October 27, at least a dozen police came to my place and kept me, my son, my sister, and my 80 year old mother incommunicado until midnight yesterday,” Xinna says, “we ran out of food, and were not allowed to go shopping. We had to order food for delivery from restaurants for nearly 4 days.”  According to Ms. Xinna, at least 2000 tickets were returned, and individual ticket price ranged from 40 yuan to 90 yuan. As to why the authorities canceled the concerts and imposed curfew on the campuses, Xinna revealed the authorities’ reason is that “these are illegal gatherings without getting approval from the relevant authorities.” “In fact,” Xinna says, “the true reason is that the authorities are afraid of the gathering which could cause ‘trouble’ because of the anger of the Mongols who are unhappy with the authorities’ plan to sell the Chinggis Khaan Mausoleum to a Chinese businessman.”

According to a Mongolian student who has been the webmaster of a very popular Mongolian student’s forum called “Mini Mongol” ( ), since the recent conflict between Mongolian students and the Inner Mongolian authorities, his forum has been subjected to close monitoring and frequent harassment by the Internet police.  On October 29, the Inner Mongolian Security Bureau personnel talked to the webmaster over the phone ordering him to shut down the forum. The reason for the forum shut-down is that the Internet police have found “some separatism articles published on the forum.”


Click here for the English version of “Open Letter from the Darhad Mongols”!



If you would like to add your name to a petition drive opposing the sale of the Chinggis Khan mausoleum and lands to a commercial enterprise and support the continued role of the Darhad Mongols, please send an email to with your name and address. Please continue to check this website for further updates.






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