Both the burning monk and the fruit vendor felt that their voices were unheard, one upset about matters regarding his religion, and the latter snapped all because of a confiscated scale. Both of these incidents occur because of many little things piling on top of eachother. The scale being stolen by the vendor was just the tip of the iceberg, the one little thing that sent the men overboard.
I think that both of these burnings were a little dramatic, but it got the point across. Listen. The 'president for life' of Tunisia fled after protesters had gathered around his door, in defense of the fruit vendor. It is said that the vendor may have forever changed the Arab world because of his actions.
"I was to see that sight again, but once was enough. Flames were coming from a human being; his body was slowly withering and shriveling up, his head blackening and charring. In the air was the smell of burning human flesh; human beings burn surprisingly quickly. Behind me I could hear the sobbing of the Vietnamese who were now gathering. I was too shocked to cry, too confused to take notes or ask questions, too bewildered to even think... As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him."
David Halberstam, New York Times