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Self Immolation

Written by: George Chittenden : 22 Sep 2019

This shocking photo was taken on June 11th, 1963 in Saigon, Vietnam. The man on fire was named Thích Quảng Đức, and he was a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who was protesting the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese Government led by Ngô Đình Diá»Â‡m. Prior to being lit he’d sat calmly as a fellow monk emptied the contents of a five-gallon petrol can over his head. The image was captured by photographer Malcolm Browne who won a Pulitzer Prize for this photograph. Browne was one of several U.S. correspondents who’d been informed that something important would happen that morning on the road outside of the Cambodian embassy in Saigon. This photo helped achieve this poor monk’s goal and end the persecution of Buddhists under the Diem government. The image was seen all over the world with President Kennedy saying that no news picture in history had generated so much emotion around the world. On November 2nd 1963 Diá»Â‡m was assassinated during a U.S. backed Army coup.

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