Chinese politician racially abused online by Northern Ireland loyalists
The UK's only Chinese parliamentarian has been subjected to online racist abuse by extremist loyalists in .
Anna Lo, who represents the cross-community Alliance party in south Belfast at the Stormont assembly, has received the racist insults on social media sites over the past 24 hours.
She came under attack after suggesting that paramilitary murals and flags glorifying loyalist terror groups should be taken down along the route of this year's Giro D'Italia cycle race, a stage of which will be held in the region for the first time.
Hong Kong-born Lo made the suggestion after the local environment minister Mark Durkan said no election posters should be erected along the cycle race route in May. In that month elections are being held not only for Europe but also local councils in the province.
The Giro is expected to be watched by hundreds of millions of viewers and some local politicians fear the sight of paramilitary murals and flags on route would be bad for the image of post-ceasefire power-sharing Northern Ireland.
Lo, who is the Alliance's candidate for Europe, has urged the route to be free from such imagery.
She said: "Funding will be made available in towns along the route to improve the image of eyesores such as derelict buildings but I have a bigger problem with images of paramilitary gunmen.
"Do we really want these images to be visible on the route when millions of people will be watching the race on television?"
Her comments provoked a barrage of abuse on Facebook and other social network sites from extremist loyalists.
Her party colleague and fellow Northern Ireland assembly member Stewart Dickson said he was "disgusted" by some of the comments directed at Lo.
He said: "The people who made these comments are bringing shame to Northern Ireland and do not represent the vast majority of the population who have welcomed people from all backgrounds. As a society we can do so much better for everyone by working together."