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Horrific: Mongolian union leader Erdene sets himself ablaze in protest against mine sales

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One of the shocking moments in the labour field was when the passionate chairman of the Board of Mongolian Solidarity Labor Union set himself on fire during a press conference in protest of a move by government of selling of mines to China.

The man identified as S. Erdene alarmed everyone during a press conference that he organised in the country to discuss conditions faced by miners and the sale of the mines to China.

Angry Erdene set on fire

Before setting himself ablaze, S. Erdene reportedly said: “The government no longer supports our company, families of the workers are forced to starve. This is why I will burn myself for the people of Mongolia and our children”.

He then lights his lapel, and bursts into flames immediately. To everyone’s horror, he immediately falls from the burning pain, while others try putting the blaze out with their jackets.

According to Daily Mail, Erdene was rushed to Mongolia’s National Trauma and Orthopedic Research Center, where he suffered burns to over 40% of his body following the incident.

Mining layoffs have been all too common in Mongolia in recent years, with copper mining mega-project Oyu Tolgoi laying off approximately 2,000 people in 2013.

Despite assurances from Tavan Tolgoi, employees worried that they would be laid off shortly after the contract transfer or would endure far worse working conditions than those to which they are accustomed. Miners staged multiple protests before S. Erdene resorted to his dire actions.

Over 90% of Mongolia’s exports come from extractive exports, primarily coal and copper. As a result, from 2009 to 2013, the country flourished as the mining sector opened up to foreign investors.

In 2011, Mongolia was the fastest-growing economy in the world, its economy expanding at a rate of 17.5%, nearly twice as fast as China’s.

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