1950-1963-1968-1972-1978-1989-2009: Vietnamese-Indo-European-Sino-Tibetan Life, Language, Conscience, And Ritual Suicide By Fire
"A young Tibetan monk was shot by Chinese police after he set himself on fire Friday, the third day of the Tibetan New Year, at a market in Sichuan province's Aba prefecture, Tibetan activist groups said, citing eyewitnesses.
Many Tibetans this year are avoiding celebrating the New Year or are instead using the 15-day holiday to commemorate those killed in deadly riots in Lhasa last March. Chinese authorities, determined to avoid a recurrence of the violence, have sharply increased security patrols, detentions and so-called reeducation campaigns. They are especially nervous about March 10, the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising, which Chinese troops forcibly suppressed shortly before the Dalai Lama fled into exile and Beijing imposed its own government in Tibet....
Eyewitnesses said they believed he was dead, but his condition has not been confirmed. After the incident, 500 monks from the monastery immediately began funeral rites for the monk." ...
Maureen Fan "Tibet Monk Shot by Chinese Police After Setting Himself on Fire" Washington Post February 27, 2009
Liviu Cornel Babeş
Header: Passers-by stop to watch as flames envelope a young Buddhist monk, Saigon, October 5th, 1963.
The man sits impassively in the central market square, he has set himself on fire performing a ritual suicide in protest against governmental anti-Buddhist policies.
Despite the shock of the Western public, the practice of Vietnamese monks self-immolating was not uncommon. Instances of self-immolations in Vietnam had been recorded for centuries, usually carried out to honor Gautama Buddha. The most recently recorded case had been in North Vietnam in 1950. The French colonial authorities had tried to eradicate the practice after their conquest of Vietnam in the 19th century, but had not been totally successful. They did manage to prevent one monk from setting fire to himself in Hue in the 1920s, but he managed to starve himself to death instead.
Source and photo credit: Copyright © 1997/2009 AUSVETS
International Campaign for Tibet