COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan police say a Buddhist monk has suffered serious injuries after setting himself on fire to protest the slaughter of cattle.

Sri Lanka Protest

A Sri Lankan Buddhist monk identified as Bowatte Indrarathane walks after self immolating outside the sacred Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanka, Friday, May 24, 2013. Indrarathane allegedly set himself on fire during a protest demanding an end to cattle slaughter, according to Press Trust of India. The monk was alive when he was hospitalized. (AP Photo)

Police spokesman Buddika Siriwardena says the monk set himself on fire Friday near the famed Temple of Buddha’s Tooth Relic in the central town of Kandy. He reportedly had told other monks that he was burning himself to protest the killing of cattle for meat.

The monk was brought to Colombo National Hospital in the capital with serious injuries.

Buddhism, Sri Lanka’s state religion, opposes the killing of any life. Nearly 75 percent of Sri Lankans are Buddhists. Many Buddhists in Sri Lanka do eat meat, but most avoid beef because they consider cows sacred.

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