Dalai Lama's admonition may be cooling illegal tiger-skin trade in Tibet
What's it like to have a leader with genuine moral authority? To find out, we take you to Tibet, where the Dalai Lama's exhortations are leading many Tibetans to forswear the multimillion-dollar trade in wild animal skins. Heavy Tibetan demand has fueled a spike in poaching of ever-scarcer tigers and leopards in India. But in January, the Dalai Lama told Buddhist pilgrims that he was "ashamed" to see pictures of Tibetans sporting wild animal skins and furs. He asked his followers to "never use, sell, or buy wild animals, their products or derivatives," and since then, reports have emerged across Tibet of people torching animal furs. The Tibetan reaction "gives a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel for the Indian tiger," says Belinda Wright of the Wildlife Protection Society of India, who saw dozens of tiger skins and thousands of leopard skins openly on sale in Tibet last year. Perhaps His Holiness could drop by North America and say a little something about SUVs ...
straight to the source: Independent Online, Reuters, Simon Denyer, 06 Mar 2006