May 24, 2013 (AFP) – A Sri Lankan monk set himself on fire on Friday to protest the slaughter of cattle, in the country’s first attempt at self-immolation by a monk, police said. More than 110 Tibetans have set themselves alight since 2009, with most dying of their injuries, in demonstrations against what they view as Chinese oppression in their homeland. The monk doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself ablaze near a temple in the central town of Kandy during an important Buddhist festival, police said.
“Policemen near the temple doused the flames and rushed the monk to hospital,” police spokesman Buddhika Siriwardena told AFP.
“Just before setting himself alight, he shouted that his action was to protest the slaughter of cattle.”
The monk was in a critical condition in a Colombo hospital, police said.
The protest came as the country celebrated Wesak, the commemoration of the birth, enlightenment and the death of the Buddha, in the Buddhist-majority country which marks the occasion with two days of holidays.
Eating meat is common in Buddhist Sri Lanka, although according to the religion killing animals is a sin.
Animal rights groups h