Sacred Values, Independence Movements, and Violence

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Mark Tamthai


Sacred values are values that a community attaches importance to beyond any price. They are values that cannot be compared or exchanged with worldly values (secular values). Sacred values include life, love, nature, health, justice, dignity, etc. The worldly values are values such as money, comfort, position, etc. Exchanging sacred values for secular values is regarded as forbidden. Suppose conflicting groups have different sacred values, such as the Catalans and the Spaniards, Israelis and Palestinians, the Red Shirts and the Yellow Shirts in Thailand, and the Patani people and the Thai state. In that case, the solution without conflict and the path to peace face great hindrances. A backfire effect can lead to new or renewed violence if not carefully attempted. The reason for the independence movement’s position is mainly about the preservation of sacred values. If violence is the only means by which these sacred values can be preserved, then violence will continue. But if one can find another way to protect sacred values without violence, that approach could be a peaceful solution.

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How to Cite
Tamthai, M. (2023). Sacred Values, Independence Movements, and Violence. Journal of Human Rights and Peace Studies, 9(2), 90–100. Retrieved from
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