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Chinese Consulate behind protest against Dalai Lama as speaker at US university event
[Thursday, March 02, 2017 21:03]
By Tenzin Monlam

(Photo/Global Times) In this undated photo, Chinese students carry placards to protest the Dalai Lama
(Photo/Global Times) In this undated photo, Chinese students carry placards to protest the Dalai Lama
DHARAMSHALA, MARCH 2: The Chinese Student and Scholars Association (CSSA), which had strongly opposed the decision by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) to invite the Dalai Lama as the commencement speaker in June has openly admitted that they have been working directly under the guidance of the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles.

The local chapter of Chinese Student and Scholars Association (CSSA) has been very vocal in opposing the university’s decision by calling it ‘insensitive’, ‘disgusting’ and ‘not respecting the Chinese students’.

A statement in Chinese by the UC San Diego chapter of CSSA published on Wechat, a micro-messaging app, said, “The Chinese Student and Scholar Association has asked the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles for instructions, and having received the instructions are going to implement them.”

The Epoch Times, a news site run by Chinese dissidents from the United States, stated that CSSA has also instructed the students not to act “outside official guidance of the CCP”, and specific measures to be taken will be elaborated on in future announcements.

The statement, which appears to have been removed, also reads that if the university insists on moving ahead with the plan to have the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader at the graduation ceremony, the association would take ‘tough measure’ against the school’s ‘unreasonable behavior’.

The “about us” page in Chinese language on the website of CSSA, UC San Diego, states that that it is a “public benefit organization” and is “affiliated to the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles.” It also says it works as a “Chinese embassy bridge.”

The Indian-origin Chancellor of UC San Diego, Pradeep Khosla, in a meeting with various Chinese associations including CSSA last month, informed that the Dalai Lama would attend the ceremony as commencement speaker but assured that the speech would be purely ‘apolitical’ and in his reference, he would not be called as 'freedom fighter' and 'spiritual head and leader of the Tibetan people'.

The university last month announced that the 81-year old Tibetan spiritual leader would grace the graduation ceremony to deliver the commencement address on June 17. The Dalai Lama is scheduled to give a public talk on June 16 at UC San Diego’s RIMAC Field.

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