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Buddhist Student Monk Burns Himself to Death in South Vietnam

Aug. 13, 1963 - A 17-year-old Buddhist student monk burned himself to death today. It was the third Buddhist self-immolation since South Vietnam’s religious-political dispute began more than three months ago. The first self-immolation occurred on June 11, when Quang Duc, a 66-year-old Buddhist monk, calmly put a match to his gasoline-drenched yellow robes at a main street intersection in Saigon and burned to death before thousands of watching Vietnamese. Today’s suicide was identified as Thanh Thuc. He apparently was alone when he poured kerosene on his body and set himself on fire at about 2 a.m. His body was found at 6 a.m. by priests. By mid-morning, more than 1,000 people had gathered at Phuc Duyen pagoda near Hue, the scene of the suicide. The suicide came a few hours after an 18-year-old Buddhist girl in Saigon attempted to chop off her left hand with a hatchet in another protest against Government religious policies. The Buddhist crisis began over a Government ban on the public display of religious flags. On May 8, nine Buddhists were killed when troops broke up a protest demonstration at Hue. The Buddhists accused the regime of President Diem, a Catholic, of religious persecution. The Government has denied the charge.


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