A few Tibetan monks who burned themselves since the turn of the new year gaining a share of the headlines and get to the intended international audience.
It is shocking to say the least. Not since the Vietnam war have we witnessed such gory and drastic actions from spiritual practitioners.
There is a fine line between immolation which is hailed as heroic and delusional suicide. Unlike Islamist suicide bombers who bring down innocent bystanders in the vicinity, self annihilators limit the damage. Whatever their religious beliefs or agenda, the violent and horrific images evoke strong emotions and leave long-lasting scars.
In the West, we would regard anyone who injures or kills himself nuts, as with cultists who commit suicide, mass shooting or assassinate a President.
I'm not a trained psychologist but I have heard from experts and friends in this field, and have met a number of sad people with diverse mental disorders.
There are many who justify drastic actions but their "logic" is entirely divergent from ours. We sympathise and wish to help them seek professional aid, that is if they want to be helped and "saved" by opening up to various avenues. However, no informed individuals with the right frame of mind should partake in such folly and flawed judgement.
Why Dalai Lama cannot and will not help?
His Holiness name has long been the war mantra for thousands of protestors of ethnic origin living in China, India, Nepal and the West.
Firstly, it is beyond the Dalai Lama's capability to help. Though his formal title is chief of the Yellow Hats, one among the handful of Tibetan religious sects. Therefore he is not representative of Tibetans.
Secondly, his Holiness has no incentive to return to China when he is enjoying the limelight with $2 million donations in addition to his $200,000 personal allowance in "donations" from Hollywood and NED (CIA).
While His Holiness had enjoyed autonomy which he has been mumbling about, but sought foreign help to launch a failed revolt which led to 50 years of exile.
His paymasters are cutting budget and could not afford his lavish lifestyle and irregularities by his feudalistic, nepotist and corrupt cabinet.
Thirdly, both the Dalai Lama and his paymasters realise that it would be impossible to topple the Chinese government much as they try and would like to.
The US government and organisations and Britain since the 1900s recognise Tibet as part of China. The geostrategic importance of mineral endowed Central Asia is the biggest prize but too far to reach. It would suffice that Dalai Lama serves as a pawn to rally dissidents to undermine China, the US' biggest economic rival and more recently a model for developing countries.