US University Stands By Dalai Lama As Commencement Speaker Despite Chinese Protests

A US university announced on February 2 that their all campus commencement event coming up later this year would have the Dalai Lama of Tibet as its keynote speaker. The decision was received as a backlash to the sentiments of the Chinese students of the university. However, the University stands by and does not look at undoing the decision!

Chinese students and their groups reacted in protest against the university’s decision. The Chinese students groups even reached out to the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles for guidance.

“A US university headed by an Indian-origin academician has rejected call by Chinese students to withdraw invitation to exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama but assured them that his speech would have nothing to with politics.” said the report in the NDTV.

The University of California, San Diego officially announced on Feb. 2nd that His Holiness the Dalai Lama will make the keynote address at the Commencement ceremony in June later this year. However the Chinese students protested against the University’s decision to defend the official line of recognition against the Dalai Lama. Chinese students from other campuses across the United States also reportedly made campaigns against the UCSA’s decision.

Though Chancellor Pradeep K Khosla of UCSA promised that the Dalai Lama would not speak anything political during the event, he did not agree to withdraw the invitation to the Dalai Lama during the meeting with the Chinese students. The Chancellor also assured not to used words such as ‘freedom fighter’ and ‘spiritual head and leader of the Tibetan people’ to describe the Dalai Lama.

This sort of reactions from the overseas educated Chinese people have come out as a shock to the world. While a Chinese student named Ruixuan Wang in his article about the incident writes “We admire all his achievements in promoting education and raising awareness on environmental issues, and we admire the fact that he won the Nobel Peace Prize.” but would not accept the fact that he is not anti-social!

Though Wang does acknowledge the achievements of the Dalai Lama in his article, his discontentment against the Dalai Lama is highly emotional and fails to convince anyone. Despite, Chinese students grudging against the University as disrespecting the Chinese sentiments, they fail to acknowledge the fact that they are talking about a University in United States of America, a pioneer in the Democracy and not in the Mainland of China, carrying poorest of human rights record!

TJ editor

Editor at Tibetan Journal

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