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Buddhist monk sets himself on fire to protest against the slaughter of cattle in Sri Lanka

HHR May 24, 2013 Archives, News updates No Comments
Buddhist monk sets himself on fire to protest against the slaughter of cattle in Sri Lanka
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A Buddhist monk set himself on fire in Sri Lanka to protest the slaughter of cattle for their meat, authorities said Friday. It was the first attempt at self-immolation by a monk in that country.

“Policemen near the temple doused the flames and rushed the monk to hospital,” a police spokesman said, according to AFP. “Just before setting himself alight, he shouted that his action was to protest the slaughter of cattle.”

The monk is engulfed in flames after he set himself on fire in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

The monk is engulfed in flames after he set himself on fire in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

“Taking one’s life (for this cause) is also wrong,” said Sagarika Rajakarunanayake of Sathva Mithra, or friends of animals, movement. “But this also shows that many people are frustrated over the cruelty to animals.”

The protest came after thousands of Buddhists and their supporters earlier this year staged rallies and campaigned to boycott halal-slaughtered meat as well as other products that carry a halal certificate.

The monks argue that Buddhists should not be forced to consume food that is prepared according to Islamic rites, saying it demonstrates the undue influence of Muslims in Sri Lanka.The monk set himself on fire near the famed Temple of Buddha’s Tooth Relic in the central town of Kandy, authorities said.Buddhism, Sri Lanka’s state religion, opposes the killing of any life. Nearly 75 per cent of Sri Lankans are Buddhists. Many Buddhists in Sri Lanka do eat meat, but most avoid beef because they consider cows sacred.

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