Tibet in flames

February 11, 2012

A Buddhist monk has set himself on fire in what is believed to have been a protest for Tibetan independence, the BBC said on February 9.

The immolation follows a series of pro-independence protests in Sichuan, an ethnically Tibetan region of southwest China, which is outside of the Tibetan autonomous region.

The incident was said to be the 20th self-immolation by Tibetan Buddhists since 2011.

Self immolation became a symbol of national liberation protest after the 1963 immolation of Thich Quang Duc, a Vietnamese hermit in the Mahayana tradition, who is now revered as a Boddhisatva (a Buddhistsaint) in Vietnam.

Duc’s death was the one of the key events leading up to a coup in the same year, which overthrew the US backed Ngo Dinh Diem regime, and the last relics of French colonial rule in Vietnam.

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