Last week I searched into the relevancy of the act of self-immolation in the world today with a focus on America’s interest. This of course brought up the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia which began the Arab Spring revolution. Again, a self-immolation happened in Tunisia March of 2013 as well as in Saudi Arabia in May of the same year. All were in protest of an over-dominating government oppressing the lower classes.
This week while doing research into the relevancy of self-immolation in today’s society,I had come to find out that this is much more common in today’s world than previously realized. In eastern Asia, Tibetan monks are known to commit self-immolation frequently. This is especially true in China. On July 20th, 2013 an 18 year old Tibetan monk set fire to himself in protest of what he felt was an oppressive Chinese government. This is surprising to me, but not so much as when I found out the news source was proud that it had been five whole weeks since this had happened. Upon further analysis, I found that there have been roughly 120 Tibetan monks light themselves on fire since February 2009.
I’d like to move my research towards finding a definitive number of how many self-immolations happened during the Vietnam conflict in protest of the oppressive anti-buddhist regime. I feel it would put the situation into perspective of exactly how oppressive the South vietnamese government was to those belonging to this religious group. It would put into perspective that aspect and point in time of the conflict. Also, I’d like to move on to researching the beginnings of self-immolation. Knowing the history of this act and how it pertained to that specific point in time, I can move on to further understanding how it relates to today’s society in both America and Vietnam.