Back Stories » Saigon » Authorities: Woman Sets Herself on Fire in Front of Reunification Palace to Protest Chinese Oil Rig

According to Le Hieu Truong Hai, District 1's Vice Chairman, a 67-year-old woman from Binh Thanh District set her self on fire in front of Reunification Palace at 6am this morning to protest the Chinese oil rig that has encroached on Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone in the East Sea.

Thanh Nien reports that Hai, speaking at a press conference at the headquarters of the People's Committee of Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, said that a preliminary investigation found that the woman, identified as Le Thi Tuyet Mai, covered herself in gasoline and lit herself on fire.

Though still alive by the time the fire was extinguished, she was dead within minutes.

The victim’s son said that Hai did not suffer from any mental illnesses but had voiced her frustrations with China’s East Sea actions over the past weeks.

Police said they found a bag full of anti-China banners, which included the messages:

“Stay together to destroy China’s invading conspiracy”

“Full support to Vietnamese coast guards and fishermen”

“Demand China to recede from Vietnamese sea”

“Set the light to guide the patriots”

“Return the sea and islands to Vietnam”

 Police said they would continue to investigate.

[Thanh Nien // Translation by Dang Bui]

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