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Supporters of the United National Party and ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe burn coffins to protest the government of disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Nov. 15, 2018 (AP photo by Rukmal Gamage).

The Roots of Sri Lanka’s Political Crisis—and Why It May Not Be Over

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka—For many Sri Lankans, the country’s recent political turmoil came on so quickly they couldn’t possibly have prepared for it.

Rami Singh, a delivery driver in his 20s, recalls barreling through this city’s hectic traffic on the night of Oct. 26 when, suddenly, he had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting a crowd of protesters that had gathered outside Temple Trees, the British colonial-era complex surrounded by white walls that serves as the prime minister’s office and residence. “There were hundreds of people out on the street,” he says. “They were shouting and chanting, and I heard one of them say they had come to protect the prime minister, and that there had been a coup.” ...

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