Sri Lanka's government is investigating media who covered the death of a Buddhist monk who set himself on fire to protest the slaughter of cattle.

The Media Ministry website says the monk could have been saved had media personnel informed authorities about his intentions.

Bowatte Indraratana died at Colombo National Hospital over the weekend after setting himself on fire Friday near the famed Temple of Buddha's Tooth Relic in the central town of Kandy. The 30-year-old was the first monk to self-immolate in Sri Lanka.

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.