Ignoring Tibetan self-immolations


Sir, –   It is impossible to over-state the tragedy of self-immolation (“Ignoring Tibetan self-immolations”, November 30th).

If anyone doubts the desperation and tragedy of these acts, they need only seek out Internet footage of the self-immolation of Tibetan Buddhist nun Palden Choetso in November 2011.  The footage is brief and profoundly disturbing.

Perhaps the most powerful comment on the present wave of self-immolations by Tibetans is provided by Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman in the Spring 2012 issue of Buddhadharma.

Prof Thurman watched the footage of Palden Choetso’s self-immolation and writes, very directly: “Oh my heart! Oh, my life!  How can this happen!  What can I do?  I’m overwhelmed . . . I want to respond, to douse her flames.”    So do I. – Yours, etc,


Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry,

University College Dublin,

Eccles Street, Dublin 7.