Bay Area Friends of Tibet

 
 

Press Release

Bay Area Friends of Tibet Officers visit Dharamsala  
By Giovanni Vassallo

April 8, 2003

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Bay Area Friends of Tibetís Secretary, Mr. Giovanni Vassallo visited Dharamsala from March 24, 2003 to March 29, 2003 after recommendations of Tibetan Association of Northern California President Chimmy Gonpo. The trip from San Francisco coincided with a visit to Tibetan communities and family in Nepal and India.

His wife and Board Member, Tsering Dolma Vassallo and his three-year-old son, Tenzin, accompanied him.

In Dharamsala, officials from the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile warmly received Mr. Vassallo. A program for Mr. Vassallo was prepared which included meetings with Tibetan officials, and DIIR Secretary Thupten Samphel, visits to the Parliament in session, to various Tibetan Institutions, followed by an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

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The program included visits to the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), Office of the Reception Centres (for newly arriving Tibetan refugees), the Tibetan Childrenís Village, the Gu Chu Sum Movement of Tibet (Ex-Political Prisonerí s Association), the Tibetan Museum, the Tibetan Institute for Performing Arts, ex-TYC President Lhasang Tsering, The Tibetan Freedom Movement, The Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute, and the Norbulingka Institute. He also was honored to meet with Tenzin G. Tethong, Private Secretary to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Mr. Vassallo is absolutely delighted by the visit during which he gained a first hand understanding of the Tibetan situation and the workings of its democratic institutions in exile. "Actually seeing the faces and hearing the stories of survival from the newly arriving Tibetan refugees certainly makes you believe in Tibetan human rights work," he said. "I am happy to share information to educate anyone interested about the many Tibetan and Tibetan relief organizations in Dharamsala," he added.

About Bay Area Friends of Tibet
Founded in 1983, BAFoT is a non-sectarian, non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization and is the West Coast's original Tibet support group. BAFoT educates the public about Tibet and the Tibetan people; organizes grassroots projects and events to benefit Tibetans locally and internationally. BAFoT organizes events in cooperation with local Tibetan groups including the Tibetan Association of Northern California, San Francisco Tibetan Youth Congress, Dalai Lama Foundation, Tibet Justice Center, Tibetan Nuns Project, Committee of 100 for Tibet, and Students for a Free Tibet.

 
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