Chinese students at a Canadian university launched an online petition questioning the qualifications of a student running for president of the students' union, who claims to be a "Tibetan refugee in India," following her pro-Tibet independence social media posts.
More than 9,000 people have signed the petition against Chemi Lhamo's qualifications as a presidential candidate for the student union at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) on Tuesday.
The petition, "We don't want such person to be the students' union president" on the website of change.org, a petition website, launched by a Chinese student going by Kennedy L on February 8, said Chemi Lhamo has "too much political involvement" with an outside group, which the petition identified as "Free Tibet."
"Her behavior on social media will damage the relations and feelings of international students if she is the president of the students' union," read the petition.
February 5, 6 and 7 are the voting days for STSU president, according to the union's Facebook page.
"Many members of the local Chinese student community feel disgusted by Chemi Lhamo, and those who voted for her even felt betrayed," a Chinese student who graduated from UTSC in 2018 and requested anonymity, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
She noted that many Chinese students voted for her without knowing her pro-Tibet independence background.
According to The Varsity, the university's student paper, on February 5, Chemi Lhamo described herself as a "stateless Tibetan refugee in India" and said that she "has gone through a lot of adversities in life."
Ladder Street, a Chinese student association of the University of Toronto business school, wrote that the Canadian university "collects more than 700 million yuan in tuition fees from some 12,000 Chinese students, while allowing such Tibetan-separatist organization on campus,"and since part of the money goes directly to the students' union, Ladder Street questioned how the university could do such things to endorse Tibetan-independence and allow Chemi Lhmao to head the Students' Union."