DHARAMSALA, March 1: Police have now started an investigation into a barrage of abuse, threat and racist slurs directed at Chemi Lhamo, a Canadian citizen of Tibetan origin after she was elected the student president on the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus.
Detectives have begun investigating whether some of the thousands of angry online texts Chemi Lhamo received after being elected as a University of Toronto student-union president constitute criminal threats, the National Post reported citing Toronto police.
The development came after Student groups call for Ottawa to investigate alleged interference by Chinese officials on Canadian campuses.
Chemi Lhamo, a fourth-year student of Neuroscience and Psychology student of the University and former SCSU’s Vice-President Equity who led the Shine Bright UTSC slate was elected the president of SCSU.
Following her election, Chinese students launched an online petition seeking her removal from the post while a barrage of abusive, threatening messages and racist slurs were directed at her.
Though the Chinese government influence is being suspected over the matter, China’s Consulate General in Toronto claimed that it only learned of the online attacks against Lhamo from the media in a statement it issued on Feb 15.
However, the statement, instead of condemning, went overdrive and expressed support for the Chinese students’ action. “It is believed that this is an entirely spontaneous action of those Chinese students based on objective facts and patriotic enthusiasm,” it said.
Det. Anthony Rutherford, who is heading the Toronto police review after an earlier investigation by campus police has said in the report that it’s too early to say if any criminal acts did occur.
“There are approximately 15,000 different posts in various languages. We’re going to have to go through all that … It needs some follow-up and more time.”