‘Citizenship, the only criterio​n’ | Sunday Observer

‘Citizenship, the only criterio​n’

Dr. Ahmet Davutoğlu
Dr. Ahmet Davutoğlu

At national level citizenship must be the only criterion and this citizenship should not be based on ethnic and religious sects or backgrounds because if there are divisions there cannot be peace, said former Turkish Prime Minister Dr. Ahmet Davutoğlu.

Meeting an eleven-member delegation from Sri Lanka at his office in Istanbul, Dr. Davutoğlu said the most important concept for a nation’s development is ‘inclusiveness’.

If a minority group is not included in the state machinery it is an unused asset, he said adding that, it is important to bestow each group a responsibility. By allowing the Muslims to develop businesses, Tamils to strengthen relationships with India and Buddhists with other Buddhist nations, Sri Lanka can grow.

“Different ethnic groups should not be seen as rivals or competitors. Everyone can take up responsibility in the national interest,” he said, adding that if all ethnic and religious groups are included in the system it is productive for the country.

Big politics necessitates vision as if a country has both ethnicity and religious differences it needs a very wise attitude, he said.

Dr. Davutoğlu also said the sea-geopolitical character of Sri Lanka is its biggest asset. “Sri Lanka is in the centre of many regions, therefore, the most strategic aspect of Sri Lanka is the port and a wise Sri Lankan leadership should develop the sea trade, he said adding that the port has to be a ‘Sri Lankan port’.

The former Prime Minister said Indian, and Americans interest in the island can be used for advantage but “you should not be pro-Chinese, not pro-Indian and not pro-American but pro-Sri Lanka.

But if one party is pro-Chinese, the other party is pro-Indian, and the other pro-American then that competition will divide the country. If all of them agree on a common strategy one sector can work with the Chinese the other with the Indian and another with the American”. 

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