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 Inclusivity means the recognition that all beings are inextricably linked to each other. Because of this linkage, all attempts to “defeat” the Other are ultimately self-defeating.
· However, inclusivity does not necessarily imply unity -- that everyone is doing the same thing under the same cultural imperatives.  Whether the island of Sri Lanka has one, two or ten political divisions does not necessarily determine inclusivity.
Ethnic war is unwinnable.  Ethnic conflict must be transcended; the paradigm of “ethnicity” must be consciously shifted in a way that honors everyone’s history (even though the histories may be completely at odds with each other).
· History shows that ethnic conflicts can go on for decades, even centuries.
There is a difference between the “will of the people” versus the “will of men with guns”.  Most conflict is maintained not because groups of people oppose each other, but because very small groups of men, backed up by guns, claim to speak for “the people”.  This works only because the current political paradigm recognizes “men with guns” as legitimate national powers.  This is true on both sides of the Sri Lanka conflict.   · The West has no strategy for dealing with ethnic conflict.  This is in part due to the fact that many of the most virulent ethnic conflicts are a result of the West’s history of colonization.
· Work in a “hot” conflict like Sri Lanka will help Commonway develop and test its tools for building inclusivity in the context of actual conflict.
· One of the key tools of ethnic warfare is terrorism.  By killing and committing atrocities against innocent civilians, the flames of ethnic passions are ignited, which continues the conflict for some time.  It may be possible to take away part of the terrorism tools through the use of “peace observers” to take away the terrorists’ shield of anonymity.
· Through various projects, including the “Three Valleys Project”, Commonway has developed tools for transcending conflict.  These tools include:
· The “Advocacy of the Whole”.  Commonway workers are “Advocates of the Whole”; we work not for any individuals or groups, but are trained to see all sides in a conflict and to resolve the conflict to the honest satisfaction of all parties.  This may mean re-defining “winning” in such a way that all sides can have their needs met. 

· “Safe environments”:  establishing that our process is safe for all parties, that Commonway does not take sides.

· “Single Issue Meetings”: Clarifying what each party wants, before they come to the table.  This is the place where the common ground becomes clear.

· “All Stakeholder Meetings”:  Inviting all stakeholders to a discussion; not just including those who claim to represent others.  People can represent themselves.  This dilutes the power of ideologues in favor of ordinary people.

· “The Magnet”: inviting all sides to the table, using something that all parties want as the impetus to come to the table.

· “Common Ground” empowered dialog.  The way to peace is found when ordinary people can come together in an empowered dialog to determine their best  interests.  In order to do this, they have to find “common ground”: a safe environment with neutral facilitators within which the dialog takes place.

· “Forced Consensus”:  all parties led through ever-deepening levels of consensus, allowing them to build trust in the process and trust in each other.

· “Spiritual Consensus”:  parties are invited to their highest level of transcendent knowing to seek a spiritual (non-religious) resolution to conflict.

· “Reconciliation”:  It may be impossible for some levels of conflict to be reconciled.  Parties can get stuck trying to re-interpret each other’s history.  Therefore, consensus may be that parties agree not to discuss certain hurtful parts of their history, at least until they can resolve their present difficulties and establish a certain level of trust.

· “Forgiveness”:  Although forgiveness must be an integral part of reconciliation, what form that takes in Sri Lanka will remain to be seen.  In South Africa, “forgiveness” has been linked to public disclosure and confession (and forgiveness) of one’s prior role in the apartheid regime.  In the Czech Republic, “forgiveness” has not been linked to public disclosure; there were too many millions of people who collaborated with the prior communist regime.  Which method works best will only be determined on a case by case, nation by nation, basis.

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