2 May 2006
There was a small but alarming news item on the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia today.
Recently presenters at the Amdo Tso-ngo TV channel in Qinghai, China, were instructed by the head of the Chinese government’s Information Centre and United Front Department that they must wear animal skin costumes, chubas, while presenting the news. When they said that they did not have any, the presenters were told that this was a political issue and that if they did not have a skin chuba then they must buy one. They were then immediately given money by the authorities for this.
The Chinese head of the Qinghai TV channel was interviewed by Radio Free Asia on 27 April 2006. He confirmed the story and that funds had been provided by the Chinese government’s United Front Department to purchase the animal skin chubas.
The link to the Radio Free Asia programme (which is in the Amdo language) is www.rfa.org/tibetan/dazoed.
We are trying to find out more, and in particular how widespread this instruction by the authorities is regarding the purchase and wearing of skin chubas, and whether it includes endangered species such as tiger and leopard skins that are protected by Chinese law and CITES.
Belinda Wright, Executive Director
WILDLIFE PROTECTION SOCIETY OF INDIA (WPSI)
S-25 Panchsheel Park, New Delhi 110017, India
Tel: (Int+ 91.11) 4163.5920 & 4163.5921
Fax: (Int+ 91.11) 4163.5924