A monk in Sri Lanka has suffered serious injuries after setting himself on fire in front of the Temple of Tooth, a venerated Buddhist site in Kandy, to protest against the slaughter of cows, officials said.

“He was flown by helicopter to a hospital in the capital and is currently in a very critical condition,” said a hospital spokesman of the monk who has been identified as Bowatte Indrarathne.

A basic Buddhist belief is not to take any life.