Inside Temple Trees: Prime Minister’s Bungalow Becomes Sri Lanka’s Seed Of Resistance

Thushara Wanniarachchi, the sleep-deprived director of digital media for the embattled Sri Lankan prime minister, has not been home in seven days.

The jovial staffer for Ranil Wickremesinghe has slept a few hours each night on the sofa in his office at Temple Trees, the official prime minister’s residence in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo.

But why is he staying at the compound and not at home?

“To be careful of my life. They are crazy. They have money,” he says ominously, referring to the allies of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the feared populist who is trying to replace his boss.

Thousands of supporters, including government officials, local council and grassroots members from Mr Wickremesinghe’s United National Party, have descended on the compound to protect their leader from what they say is a coup.

President Maithripala Sirisena last week did what critics say exceeded his powers, appointing Mr Rajapaksa without parliamentary or voter approval.

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