Friday, February 27, 2009

Immolations: China/Chicago

University of Washington, USA: 2008

Now Tibet, again.

Three men set themselves on fire at a busy road crossing in Wangfujing, which is close to the famous Tienanmen Square in the heart of Beijing, on Wednesday afternoon (February 25, 2009), according to Asian media reports.

The Beijing administration has indicated that they were trying to voice some grievance while making the attempt at self-immolation. But it did not disclose any details. The Beijing government did not disclose the identify of the persons, who ignited themselves inside a car around 3pm. But it said that they came from outside the city in a car bearing a non-Beijing license plate. Xinhua said there were one woman and two men in the car at the time of the incident.

The fire assumed significance because it occurred on the Tibetan New Year Day.

free tibet

Now word comes of a Chicago area man who has died in a self-immolation.

A 58-year-old Wal-Mart employee who said he "couldn't take it anymore" lit himself on fire outside the Bloomingdale store where he worked late Thursday night (February 26, 2009) and was later pronounced dead at a hospital, according to Chicago-area media reports.

The Carol Stream man, who worked the overnight shift, was in a parking lot of an adjacent sporting goods store in the west suburban strip mall when he set himself on fire with lighter fluid around 10 p.m., said Randy Sater, a watch commander with the Bloomingdale Police Department.

Wal-Mart corporate spokesman Dan Fogleman said the man had worked for the company for a little over 7 years, most recently as an overnight stocker. He said he had spoken with a member of the store's management who described him as "a good guy and fun to be around."

He called the suicide "a tragic situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family."

Wal-Mart was cooperating with authorities in their investigation, he said, but he declined to "speculate" on whether the man had been in to work last night before the incident or had spoken with any employees.

Thanks to Todd Campbell for the heads up on the Carol Stream incident.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One thing to note, is that the self immolation which occurred on the University of Washington campus happened in a location called "Red Square".