davidbrainerd wrote:Your analysis is treating it as if these are average joes not monks. I think more than any social political cause this shows that Tibetan Buddhism has not been able to ground its monks in an understanding of how the real wotld works. The belief that burning yourself alive is going to make a world leader sad, so sad, he changes his policy, is extreme naivite perhaps caused by an overly idealistic picture of the world.
I don't think an "overly idealistic picture of the world" is the case here. If you've read the link I provided, notice it's not just monastics who set themselves on fire. There're lay people, men, women, and teenagers. Yes, teenagers! Put yourself in the Tibetan's shoes, one of the most peace-loving people who has no army, no weapon, never willing to respond with violence against anyone.............
This is from your link:
Most of the protesters have been monks and nuns, or ex-monks Some of the protesters who set themselves on fire were teenagers.
Notes  and  say that the teenagers were monks or recent monks. People can go to the articles since the notes have links to those aricles.
Concerning your statement "one of the most peace-loving people who has no army, no weapon, never willing to respond with violence against anyone": In 2008 there were widespread tibetin riots in china. For instance (from wikipedia article "2008 Tibetan unrest":
In an area of Sichuan province incorporating the traditional Tibetan areas Kham and Amdo, Tibetan monks and police clashed on March 16 in Ngawa county after the monks staged a protest, killing at least one policeman, and setting fire to three or four police vans.
Violence started in Lhasa in Tibet on March 14 when police cars, fire engines and other official vehicles were set on fire as anger erupted following the police's dispersal of a peaceful demonstration near Ramoche Temple in Lhasa. Rioters, including angry monks, attacked all Han and Hui passers-by using stones and knives. Rioters robbed non-Tibetan-owned businesses and banks, also attacked and burned down houses, including governments and schools.
I want it to be clear that I am not saying that this was unwarranted. I am just wanting to make the case that tibetins are not all "never willing to respond with violence against anyone".
Also, do note that it was after the 2008 that the self immolations began and in an article I read (somewhere on wikipedia) it said that the anti gov't tibetins thought that the rioting was not receiving wide enough news coverage and they found that news of self immolation was very effectively distributed world wide.
Also, the Uighur minority in western china has an adversarial relationship with the chinese gov't similar to the tibetin minorities......but the uighur people do not self immolate. I think this is pretty good evidence that self immolation is a cultural manifestation of some sort peculiar to the tibetin minorities. Is there any other place on the planet with such a high concentration of self immolation?...I think not. This again is good evidence that it is something in tibetin culture which is key for this to manifest.