Lobsang Kalsang and Lobsang Konchok, both believed to be in their late teens, allegedly poured gasoline on themselves, proclaimed “long live the Dalai Lama,” then self-immolated. Reports from the group Free Tibet are unclear as to whether or not the Monks died… some reports claim that bystanders rushed to them and put out the flames, other reports are claiming that the two monks were shot by police after setting themselves on fire.
This is not the first time people have used self-immolation as a method of protest, in fact the practice is somewhat common for this branch of Buddhism. The most famous example of self-immolation occurred in Saigon in 1963.
In a protest against the Catholic Church’s persecution of Buddhists and the policies of South Vietnam, Thich Quang Duc set himself on fire in a busy intersection. The act was made famous by the photograph taken by Malcolm Browne.
Closer to home, in 1965, a Baltimore Quaker named Norman Morrison protested against the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War by dousing himself in Kerosene then setting himself on fire beneath the office widow of the Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.