Who’ll Stop the Rain?

Long as I remember, the rain’s been coming down
Clouds of mystery pouring confusion on the ground
Good men through the ages trying to find the sun
And I wonder, still I wonder, who’ll stop the rain?
I went down to Virginia, seeking shelter from the storm
Caught up in a fable, I watched the towers grow
Five-year plans and new deals wrapped in golden chains
And I wonder, still i wonder, who’ll stop the rain?
Heard the singers playing, how we cheered for more
The crowd rushed together, trying to keep warm
Still the rain kept pouring, falling on my ears
And I wonder, still I wonder, who’ll stop the rain?

— Creedence Clearwater Revival

During the ’83 riots, I was eleven, so I’m old enough to remember the days before the rain. Old enough to have once looked at war as the adventure of my generation and not the curse of our age. Old enough to recall being worried that the rain would stop before I got a chance to get wet. But now it seems to be raining all the time, seems like it’s been raining forever.

Funnily, when the rain — the real rain — does stop, all it brings is bombs. Chatting to a colleague today, he was convinced the Tigers need dry weather for their recent spate of bombing against civilian transport. All of the bombs — the train in Dehiwela, the bus bombings in Moratuwa and Kandy — have all happened as soon as the rain stopped. The Wellawatte rail explosion wasn’t too successful, and maybe it’s because it was raining. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) use electricity and or phone signals to complete the circuit, and both of these get messed up by bad weather.

It’s the same in the NE. Rain stops the gunships and close air support, bogs up the roads so that armour can’t move. I remember Elephant Pass in the monsoon of ’91. It’s wet, miserable, and even more wet. Everything stops for the rain.

But the rain seems a respite, a waiting time ’til the real shit happens. The news from the war’s pretty thin. Either nothing’s got moving really since the rain, or nobody’s noticed. No big victories, no great defeats; just this steady dripping.

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