The entourage: Always a few steps ahead of the Dalai Lama, two “advance monks” from northern India have finally arrived in Toronto to help prepare Canada’s first Tibetan cultural center for the leader’s arrival. Ven. Tenzin Kunchok, left, and Ven. Lobsang Tgndar arrive at Pearson Sunday [Sept. 8] (Colin McConnell/Toronto Star).
“Wherever the Dalai Lama goes, they do the preparation,” said Salden Kunga, a volunteer coordinator for the Dalai Lama visit, as he waited for the monks at Pearson airport on Sunday. “They are like the entourage.” Namgyal Nangsetsang, a Tibetan Cultural Centre spokes-woman, said the busy monks are about a week behind schedule.
“When they applied for their visas, they got it half an hour later,” Nangsetsang said Sunday, clarifying an earlier statement that said the monks had trouble getting their visas. “There was no problem from Canadian Immigration.”
Before Toronto, the monks were carrying out duties in San Francisco. They stayed longer in the U.S. than originally planned, but made it to Toronto with no delay Sunday. A third monk from India will arrive in a few weeks to assist with preparations at the cultural centre, which is still under construction at a $3.2-million warehouse near Lake Shore Blvd. and Kipling Ave. More>>