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Self immolation: Tibet Buddhists debate non-violence

Tibetan exiles dressed as Chinese soldiers enact the killing of a Tibetan student during a protest in Dharamsala, India, in January. Tibetans are debating the best way to protest Chinese rule, and whether self-immolation is justified. (Photo: AP/Angus McDonald)

Tibet Buddhists question ethics of suicide by fire
Tibet's New Year is normally cause for celebration, but not this year.  

A rash of suicides and protests among Tibetan Buddhists prompted the Dalai Lama to call for prayers and not parties.

Tibetans continue to bristle under Chinese rule, which began in 1950 when Beijing sent troops into the independent state. That anger often turns violent.

But Tibet's plight has gained new urgency, as a growing number of monks and nuns set themselves on fire to draw attention to it.

The use of suicide is causing division in Buddhist ranks.  Canadian journalist Edward Birnbaum watched a vivid demonstation of the reasons for it, among exiles in neighbouring India. 

Edward's documentary

The March 1 Dispatches program

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