A 22 year old Tibetan Canadian girl came victorious in the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus (UTSC) Student Union election. Despite the fact that she won the fair elections of the campus to become the President of the Students Union, Chinese students have been abusing her online for her engagements with Free Tibet campaigns.
Chemi Lhamo, 22 was originally born in Tibet and later moved to Canada due to the political repression going inside Tibet. Although her victory has been celebrated by Tibetans around the world as well as her supporters in the campus and the country Canada, the Chinese students have erupted in aggression against her victory.
“Thank you to everyone for all the support and love. I am honoured to share that I will be serving as the President of the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Student Union starting May 1st once ratified. Driven by my values of wisdom and compassion, I’m looking forward to this new step.” Ms. Lhamo announced on her social media account following her victory.
To protest against her election, the Chinese students, which a huge number in the United States and Canada, started a petition calling against election. Besides gathering more than 10,000 signatures in the petition, huge number of Chinese students are abusing the Tibetan girl on her social media pages.
Comments such as “China is your daddy — you better know this,” as well as stern warnings, “Ur not gonna be the president of UTSC, Even if you do, we will make sure things get done so u won’t survive a day. Peace RIP.” from Chinese students are flooding on her social media pages.
While it is clear that Chinese students overseas are obligated by their Beijing administration to protest against the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his fellow Tibetans, Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former senior CSIS official for the Asia-Pacific region explained that it is their strategy to try to undermine, to try to mute any form of opposition or dissidence that could at one point or another gain access to a mic.
“I would have expected such a thing … particularly because she’s a young woman who has been actively involved in her circle of free Tibet,” said Michel Juneau-Katsuva, “The university centres have always been a great pull of attraction for either stealing intellectual property or trying to influence politically,” adding the prospect that Chinese student groups campaigning against Lhamo could be receiving direct support from China fits with what he’s seen while monitoring threats from the country.
The victory for the Tibetan girl is a huge achievement for the Tibetan community as well. Evidently, notable Tibetan personals from across the world lauded her victory in the University and extended their congratulations and best wishes.