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Sri Lanka: Buddhist Monk Sets Himself on Fire to Protest Cattle Slaughter [GRAPHIC VIDEO]

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By Drishya Nair | May 25, 2013 5:13 PM EST

A Buddhist monk set himself on fire to protest against the slaughter of cattle in Sri Lanka.

According to the Mail Online, the incident took place on Friday and happened near the Temple of Buddha's Tooth Relic, in the town of Kandy. A police spokesperson, Buddika Siriwardena, claimed the temple holds particular religious significance for Buddhists.

The monk suffered severe burn injuries and was rushed to the Colombo National Hospital, where he is under treatment. Buddhism, the state religion of Sri Lanka, preaches against the killing of any life form. 

Friday was a public holiday in Sri Lanka, in honour of the festival of Wesak. This marks the Buddha's birthday, his enlightenment and death. The occasion is celebrated across all Buddhist countries but there are variations in the traditions and beliefs.

During the festival, meat and shops selling alcohol remain closed.

Meat eating is generally accepted among the Buddhist community in Sri Lanka but most avoid beef, as the cow is considered a sacred animal.

String of Self-Immolations

This event is the latest in a number of self-immolations by Buddhist monks.

In February, a Tibetan monk died after setting himself on fire in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu. He was protesting China's occupation of Tibet. The 21-year-old reportedly died chanting anti-China slogans.

Two years ago, in October, two monks committed a similar act in southwest China, to protest against the country's government. The two were 18 and 20 years old and were taken to hospital and treated for burn injuries before being discharged, according to a report filed by the Xinhua News Agency.

Watch the video below [WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT]


[Video Courtesy: YouTube/Lankika Rupa]

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