Daily Mirror - Print Edition

Guns and Sri Lankan ‘Roses’ - EDITORIAL

26 Jan 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      



Yesterday was a Poya Day (Duruthu Poya), and people placed flowers in front of Buddha statues all over the country, but we can safely say that roses have not been the favourite of Buddhists. This isn’t because roses are criminally expensive, but because this religion doesn’t have a close relationship with the ‘rose’. Buddhists prefer the lotus when an offering needs to be done; largely due to the lessons the flower symbolises. 

But roses have entered our culture and quite secretly encroached the minds of peace-loving people as well as rebels and protesters. We remember in 2022 April (8) how a female undergraduate went in front of a barricade near the Sri Lankan Parliament and offered a rose to the Police, who were in their numbers to quell a protest. That gesture was ‘sweet’ like the rose itself, but those who love roses can love guns as well; in case you’re pushed to the wall and there is no solace from the law.

There was a recent Facebook post which said, ‘this is a country where there is no food to eat, but there is no scarcity of ammunition”. Probably this Facebook user was referring to the spate of underworld killings carried out in brutal fashion using firearms. 

People of this nation saw how their representatives in Parliament turned their backs on them and voted to bring in the Online Safety Bill. The bill was passed with 108 votes for and 62 against it. We’re told that the Supreme Court cleared the bill, subject to amendments proposed by it. The people of this country who are very active on social media platforms see their wings being clipped. You might not be able to hide behind even something as peaceful as a rose and make an adverse comment targeting the government because you run the risk of being arrested.

We tell our little children to grow up like flowers. However their sweet and innocent ways can be soon replaced by ones that guarantee survival when regimes like the present one suppress them. There is a saying that is applicable to the jungle ‘you either eat someone else rather than end up being eaten”. This is what those in power choose to do when they know the earth around them is cracking and they’ll soon be sucked in. 

Citizens will always be represented by roses. The rulers would prefer the gun to a rose because they have to take responsibility for the security of the country; fair enough. But in history, we’ve seen those representing guns and those representing roses tying the knot. In 1985, the band, Hollywood Rose and L.A Guns entered into a partnership and formed the group Guns N’ Roses. The rest was history! The members of the new group had their disagreements as time passed, but have stuck together to date despite hard times. The rulers and the citizens can come together and see the country’s way forward from one page, but that calls for a genuine effort by all the players in this ‘game’. 

Extreme greed for money, assets and power has made most lawmakers live as lesser human beings. Such human beings will never have the mentality to smell a rose. Even if they do, they’ll not stop short of plucking such a flower out of a tree, because they don’t know that the flower is best cherished when it still grows on the branch of the tree.

There was a YouTube programme where a TV presenter was asking the interviewee - an actor - how he maintains composure and patience in the face of provoking that happens in the film industry. He said he always wins when his patience is tested. But he opined out that a renowned artiste who is known for playing the role of ‘priest’ in tele dramas will first show patience by throwing flowers at those who throw stones at him. Then this artiste will throw the flowerpots at his detractors. Even in a world where flowers are cherished, the flowerpot can come in handy as a weapon for self-defence. 
This regime must know that!