Revealed the distrust of Diem. arrow_forward_iosunderstand more Powered by GliaStudio The last straw was the "Buddhist crisis" that began in 1963. Diem is a loyal Catholic believer, which is one of the reasons why he was supported by many U.S. representatives in the early days. However, overly radical religious favoritism has increased religious opposition in South Vietnam. On May 8, 1963, the Buddha's birthday, nine civilians in Hue were shot and killed because they protested against the Wu government's ban on flying Buddhist flags. Diem's blatant rejection of religious equality led to a surge of dissatisfaction among Buddhists.
Just a month later, the telemarketing list eminent monk Thích Quảng Đức chose to set himself on fire in front of the crowd. At the time, 65-year-old Thu Quang Duc was determined to be a martyr. On June 11, he rode a sky blue car (the car still remains in the Chùa Thiên Mụ of the Thien Mu Temple in Hue City), leading 350 Buddhist monks The demonstration marched from the south to the north on the current Nguyễn Đình Chiểu Road, and stopped at the intersection of Cách Mạng Tháng Tám. Shi Guangde meditated on a cushion placed in the center of the intersection, while his apprentice held a five-gallon gasoline barrel and poured gasoline on Shi Guangde, who was chanting the Buddha's name with his eyes closed.
Then ignited, and Shi Guangde was caught in the flames. To quote David Halberstam, another New York Times reporter who was on the scene at the time (and a well-known reporter who later exposed President Nixon's Watergate case): I will watch this scene one more time, but one is enough. Flames spewed from the body of a living man, his skin slowly began to foam and wrinkle, and his head was blackened and slowly charred. The air was filled with the smell of burning human flesh; I had never imagined that human bodies were so flammable. Behind me, I heard the Vietnamese crowd start to gather and cry softly.