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OBITUARY: Shri Francis Vaz

Washington, DC
June 8, 2003


On Saturday afternoon (7 June 2003) Francis Vaz, Minister Political in the Indian Embassy, passed away after battling a long illness. His wife, Yvette and close relatives were by his side. Francis was born on 11 September 1952 and joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1976. His diplomatic assignments included stints in Brazil, Mozambique, France, Turkey and Pakistan. As Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, he headed the Africa and Consular, Passport and Visa Divisions. Francis was the epitome of dignity and grace and will be missed for his professional and personal qualities. The Indian Embassy is devastated by this loss and expresses its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.

A Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday 10th June 2003 at the Church of St. Bartholomew, 6900 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20817 (Tel: (301) 229-7933).  There will be a viewing from 0915-0930 followed by the service.  There will be a private cremation after the service.

In his tribute to Francis, Lalit Mansingh, the Ambassador of India has stated: "Francis was one of the finest officers I have ever worked with. His extraordinary intellect, clarity of thought and work ethic were unmatched. He never allowed his illness to compromise his contribution and service to his country. India has lost one of its most outstanding foreign service officers. Those of us who have had the privilege of working with Francis especially during his battle over the last three years, have witnessed his exceptional courage, dignity and complete dedication to his work. His unfailingly positive outlook and his remarkable willpower remain inspirational to all of us. Francis was to me a valued colleague, a true gentleman and a unique human being. I, my colleagues, and his friends will miss him deeply. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Yvette and his family".

For more information, contact:
Sunil Lal, Counsellor (Press & Information) at (202) 939-7042