By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, July 1: A Chinese man was fined by a court in Prague for stealing a Tibetan flag during the Chinese President’s visit to the city in March 2016.
Dong Jiangqing was ordered to pay a fine of 15,000 crowns to the Czech state or spend two months in jail, the court said in a verdict on Wednesday, according to reports on Prague Daily Monitor, July 1.
Dong stole and tore apart a Tibetan flag from Jakub Seda, a pro-Tibetan demonstrator waiting for the motorcade of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to pass by and hid it on March 28.
The Chinese man was originally sentenced to expulsion from the Czech Republic for five years but he challenged the verdict and new proceedings were launched.
The verdict has not taken effect yet, as both Dong, 41 and the state attorney still remains undecided on whether to appeal the verdict.
“The [Tibetan] flag…symbolises the division of China. Its use is banned in our country, the People’s Republic of China. I considered its presence in that place inappropriate. I believed that in the time that is so wonderful and favourable, when the Czech and Chinese peoples are coming close to each other, there should not be a flag that symbolises a split,” Dong a cook by profession was quoted as saying on Prague Daily Monitor.
Jakub Seda, aged 29, a Czech national and supporter of Tibet was reportedly mobbed by the Chinese, whistled in his ears with small vuvuzelas and allegedly covered with a large Chinese flag to prevent him from being seen.
To avoid anti Chinese protest to be witnessed by their leader, one of the Chinese took the Tibetan flag away from Seda.