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Monday, January 18, 2021

Canada urged to act against China’s attacks on free speech in universities

McMaster University in Canada. (Photo courtesy: McMaster University)

(TibetanReview.net, Feb02’20) – An MP from the Conservative Party has called for Chinese diplomats who encourage foreign students to attack freedom of speech in Canadian locations to be removed from their official position, reported themediatimes.com Feb 1. He has particularly mentioned the case of a Tibetan woman named Chemi Lhamo, an outspoken activist against China’s human rights violations in Tibet, who was verbally attacked and abused by Chinese students with active encouragement from the Chinese consulate following her early 2019 election as president of the University of Toronto Scarborough student union.

“If a foreign diplomat demonstrably intervenes directly in Canadian institutions to restrict freedom of speech or intimidate students attending events, those who do so should no longer be diplomats in Canada.” Genuis was quoted as saying in an interview.

Garnett Genuis MP is a Canadian politician.

Also, speaking on “Actions by Foreign Governments to Undermine Freedom of Speech at Canadian Universities” in the House of Commons on Jan 20, Genuis has referred to an orchestrated campaign against Chemi Lhamo and disruption in Feb2019 of an event at McMaster University addressed by Uyghur human rights activist Rukiye Turdush.

The Chinese consulate later publicly praised the students on its website, saying, “We strongly support the just and patriotic actions of Chinese students.”

The attacks were orchestrated by McMaster University’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), a network of Chinese students groups in North America directed by their local Chinese consulates.

McMaster’s CSSA was recently stripped of its official club status by the student association for allegedly maintaining links with the Chinese consulate.

In his Jan 20 address in the House of Commons, Genuis had called for a special committee to deal with the situation of foreign interference in the freedom of expression of students at universities. “Maintaining the integrity of academic institutions is something that has an urgent national interest,” he was quoted as saying.

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