Shocking footage has emerged of an as yet unnamed leader of a Mongolian trade union setting himself ablaze during a national press conference in an extreme protest against a proposed coal mine deal with China.
The main reportedly works for Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, a state-owned mining company that holds the license to a giant coal mine deposit near the Chinese border, according to mining.com.
The union leader reportedly arranged the press conference to bring attention to the plight of Mongolian miners who are set to potentially lose their jobs to Chinese workers because of the deal.
Immediately before his graphic display of solidarity, he told reporters: “The government no longer supports our company, families of the workers are forced to starve, this is why I will burn myself for the people of Mongolia and our children.”
He then proceeded to immediately douse himself in liquid and pull out a lighter, screaming and falling to the floor as he was quickly engulfed by flames. Onlookers screamed in shock and horror at the act as three men desperately moved to put out the blaze with their jackets and eventually an extinguisher.
The man was rushed to the National Trauma and Orthopedic Research Center of Mongolia and the incident has left him in critical condition with severe burns to 40% of his body.
Mongolia is considering selling stakes in 10 state-owned companies, including part of the Tavan Tolgoi mine, to boost investor support for its flagging economy.
Back in October, the leadership of Erdenes TT transferred 203 workers from one mine to TTJV Co, a Chinese company. That agreement left Mongolians without jobs and had been written in English to confuse miners about its content.
You can watch the footage below. Please be warned of its graphic nature:
By Daniel Paul