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Dalai Lama quietly drops by Chicago

BY CATHLEEN FALSANI, Chicago Sun Times, April 19, 2006

Chicacgo, USA -- When the Dalai Lama stepped off a private plane at Waukegan Regional Airport on Tuesday afternoon, he was greeted by a small crowd of friends and fellow Tibetans instead of the tens of thousands of devotees who usually flock to see him around the world.

<< The Dalai Lama quietly sneaked into town Tuesday, landing at Waukegan Airport, where he was greeted by a small crowd of friends and fellow Tibetans instead of the tens of thousands of devotees who usually flock to see him around the world. (BRIAN O'MAHONEY/PIONEER PRESS)

That's because the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet who is said to be the embodiment of the Bodhisattva, or Buddha, of Compassion, quietly sneaked into town for an unannounced, private visit with friends on the North Shore, said the president of Buddhist View International in Morton Grove, Tsultim Ngabtak.

Ngabtak was one of about 20 Chicago area Tibetans who greeted the Dalai Lama at the airport.

"[Monday] at 3 p.m., our community people, they e-mailed us and called us to ask us to come welcome him to Chicago," Ngabtak said "It was quite unusual."

The Buddhist leader, whose last public visit to Chicago was in 1999, is in town for a couple of days and is not expected to make any public appearances, he said.



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