As usual, the event at the town hall of Bülach was very well attended. It was particularly noticeable that many small children were present.  This was also evident in thenumerous dance performances of the various Tibetan schools, all of which were well rehearsed and presented a wide variety of performances.

The guest of honour was Mario Fehr, a member of the government of Canton Zurich and long-time Tibet supporter. In his speech, Mr. Fehr stressed how well integrated the approximately 8,000 Tibetans in Switzerland are and what a great reputation the Dalai Lama enjoys among the Swiss people. „For me personally, the meetings with His Holiness were the most impressive moments of my life", he said.  The awarding of the Nobel Prize in 1989 had given the necessary recognition to theTibetan cause and acknowledged the tireless efforts of  His Holiness for a peaceful solution with China.

Mario Fehr also addressed the current asylum problem of many Tibetans in Switzerland who are hoping for a positive decision from the authorities. As security director of the Canton of Zurich, he said, the asylum system also falls within his area of responsibility and it is in the interest of his officeto find a solution to this difficult situation as soon as possible. „We are trying our best to ensure that Tibetans who have already been in the country for a long time are allowed to stay here", he assured the audience.

This was followed by speeches by the abbot of theTibetan Institute in Rikon and representatives of the Swiss-TibetanFriendship Society (GSTF) as well as the Tibetan Parliament in exile. They paid tribute to the achievements of  His Holinessthe Dalai Lama for the Tibetan people, and also pointing to the current tense political situation in Tibet.

Mr. Ngodup Dorjee, whose term of office as representative of  His Holiness in Switzerland, ends next year, also held a speech. Afterwards, the presidents of TCSL and GSTF thanked him for his great commitment and the pleasant cooperation.

The festival program was rounded off by Tibetan dance performances of the TCSL sections and various cultural associations. Finally, as usual at Tibetan festivals, the Gorshe dance followed, to which the audience took the big stage and in front of the big poster with the image of His Holiness once again celebrated this special event for all Tibetans.


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