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San Francisco Team Tibet: *Tibetan Association of Northern California*San Francisco Regional Tibetan Youth Congress*Students for a Free Tibet*Bay Area Friends of Tibet*

Press Release and *Photo Opportunity*
Contact: Thepo Tulku, 510-776-3730 or Giovanni Vassallo, 415-264-3264 or [email protected]


8 August 2012 – 7-9 PM – 2160 Shattuck St., Downtown Berkeley BART Station, California

[One Year Anniversary of Historic Tibetan Prime Minister Election and Show of Solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet]

(Berkeley, CA, 3 August 2012) On 8 August 2012 Tibetans and supporters will publicly offer prayers as a sign of respect and offer condolences and seek support from the people of Northern California outside the downtown Berkeley BART station. Over 45 Tibetans have self-immolated in the past months since 2009 to protest against the unbearable, brutal, and illegal occupation of Tibet that began in 1949 when Chinese communist armies invaded the country.

August 8 marks the one year anniversary of Kalon Tripa Lobsang Sangay swearing into office as the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. He is first the directly-elected 'political leader'
of Tibet, following His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's full devolution of political power to a democratically-elected leadership.

Profiles of each of the 45 self-immolators will be read by SF Team Tibet members.

The vigil coincides with the Tibetan 'Flame of Truth' Torch Relay, which began on the Dalai Lama's birthday, July 6, in India. After traveling around hundreds of cities all over the world, it will conclude on December 10, World Human Rights Day, with the submission of appeal letters and signatures to the UN Headquarters in New York City. The vigil will kick off the Relay's petition signature campaign to the UN, which Tibetans believe have the responsibility protect them.

North America Regional Tibetan Youth Congress is organizing a global mass protest at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY on September 18 as member nations of the UN will convene for the 67th General Assembly Session. The August 8 vigil will call Tibetans and Tibet supporters to join them at the UN on September 18 and the 'Flame of Truth" Torch Relay on December 10.

"We were very anxious when His Holiness the Dalai Lama devolved his political authority to the elected leadership," Kalon Tripa Lobsang Sangay said recently in a visit to Tibetans in south India. He added "but the new administration has restored the calm. Therefore, collective support and effort from the general public, support is of paramount importance."

TANC President Tenzin Tsedup said, "Our sisters and brothers in Tibet have gone to extreme measures to voice their sufferings under the Chinese government. We're celebrating our democratic achievements in the free world. We are praying for strong community support to pressure the United States to provide tangible support, with the hope that the message that the world is listening will reach inside Tibet."

Giovanni Vassallo, President of the Bay Area Friends of Tibet (BAFoT), said, "Because of its unique position in the world, the US has a special opportunity and responsibility to promote the democratic values of liberty, equality, and human rights. We pray that on this historic anniversary that the public stands up for Tibet and actively commits support to the Tibetan people's United Nations-recognized right to self-determination and help free them from Chinese government atrocities."

WHO: San Francisco Team Tibet
WHAT: Worldwide Vigil for Tibet
WHEN: 7-9 PM, August 8, 2012
WHERE: 2160 Shattuck Street, Downtown Berkeley BART station


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