There is never short of news about monks burning themselves for various causes in Tibet. One of the latest on is by a senior Tibetan monk calling for the return of the Dalai Lama (Monk who self-immolated ‘called for Dalai Lama return’).
For my own view of Buddhism, it is a wasteful effort clouded with incorrect view and overly attachment to worldly wants and needs.
Firstly, the position of the Dalai Lama, is something artificial and a position created for political reasons in old Tibet. I don’t mean artificial as in the Dalai Lama is fake, I meant that the idea of the Dalai Lama position is a human construct and not part of any Buddhist teachings or is it necessary in order to understand and practice Buddhism.Whether or not the Dalai Lama or that position exists or not has no bearings on Buddhist teachings or anyone’s path to enlightenment. Unless of course, that person is attached to the idea that only the Dalai Lama could lead them to enlightenment or happiness.
And thus, we are all asked in Buddhist teachings not to attach ourselves too strongly to any idea or expectations least they lead to suffering or dissatisfaction. In this case, I believe that the monk(s) believe that their happiness is tied to the Dalai Lama issue. Buddhist teachings warns against grasping to external ideas, things and persons to fulfill our happiness. These are what lead to suffering, the very first noble truth!