By Tsering Dhundup
DHARAMSHALA May 23: Shocking events unfolded during the Counter Strike: GO World Championship, a video game competition held in Paris on May 21, where two Tibetan youths were subjected to harassment and manhandling for displaying the Tibetan national flag, by a group of eight Chinese youths.
Speaking to Phayul, one of the Tibetan youth, who wished to remain anonymous said that the confrontation began when two Chinese youths, brandishing the Chinese flag, deliberately approached the Tibetan youths and attempted to forcibly remove them from the camera frame. When the Tibetan youths proudly identified themselves as being from Tibet, the Chinese youths questioned the existence of Tibet as a country, and began ridiculing the two Tibetans.
The situation further deteriorated when the Chinese youths reached out to their friends for reinforcement through Wechat, a popular micro-messaging platform widely used in China. During the halftime, a group of eight Chinese youths confronted the two Tibetan youths, speaking in Chinese. They brazenly claimed that the Tibetan youths were not truly Tibetan but rather Chinese, and proceeded to disrespect the Tibetan flag and Tibetan people, using derogatory language.
As tensions escalated, the confrontation turned physical, with the Tibetans caught in a scuffle. In a distressing turn of events, when the Tibetan youths attempted to seek assistance from the security personnel, their calls went unanswered, raising concerns about the adequacy of the security measures in place for the event. The Tibetan youth further revealed that one of the Chinese youths snatched the Tibetan flag. Images later surfaced on Twitter of the same flag being burned.
The Tibetan youth told Phayul that the incident serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by Tibetans even in the free world, and China’s transnational aggression, even from Chinese citizens who are brainwashed and fed with propaganda domestically when it comes to Tibet and other occupied regions.