( September 12, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) According to Sri Lanka Buddhist Vihara Devala Foundation (Incorporation) Act all devalas should pay taxes but Ruhunu Katharagama Devalaya (temple) has not paid any taxes since 2009 say reports.

In 2009 Ruhunu Katharagama Devalaya was taken out from the Vihara Devala Foundation (Incorporation) Act while Mr. Sasheendra Rajapaksa was the caretaker of the Ruhunu Kataragama Devalaya as the Basnayaka Nilame. Mr. Sasheendra Rajapaksa was also elected to Uva Provincial Council and became the Chief Minister. According to the Vihara Devala Foundation (Incorporation) Act nobody could hold both posts of Basnayaka Nilame of Ruhunu Katharagama Devalaya and the post of chief minister simultaneously. President Mahinda Rajapaksa removed this obstacle from the Vihara Devala Foundation (Incorporation) Act by amending the Act to suit his nephew so that Sasheendra could hold both posts.

Despite all temples have to send details about income to the Department of Public trustee and pay taxes, no taxes have been paid by Ruhunu Katharagama Devalaya after it was removed from the Vihara Devala Foundation (Incorporation) Act.

Meanwhile, the President Mahinda Rajapaksa spends Rs.1340 million to maintain his staff of 1348 and Sasheendra Rajapaksa who is the chief ministerial candidate from UPFA to Uva PC election still functions as President’s private secretary said JVP Leader Anura Dissanayaka in Colombo today (11th).

Mr. Dissanayake pointed out that only Rs.1.1 million is allocated for the health sector in the country while the expenses for the Presidential staff was Rs 1.3 billion.

- Lanka Truth