Preserving Thonigala inscriptions nears completion


The copying of the historical Thonigala inscriptions located in Kudakachchikodiya, Vavuniya, has been completed after 20 years. The soil covering the inscriptions has been removed. However, public viewing is being considered as no funds were allocated for the salvation project, according to the Office of Archaeological Officer in Vavuniya.

They also said in 2002, due to the threat of destruction of the Thonigala inscription due to the war, it was covered with sand and soil.  However, due to the request of monks and residents of the area, soil and sand were removed and the inscriptions re-copied following a discussion conducted by archaeology officials. Archaeology officials also said the inscriptions were not damaged during this time.

These inscriptions are said to reveal a wealth of information about Sri Lankan history and even its economic history. There are two other inscriptions besides the main inscription. Apart from that, two circular archaeological structures, a group of pillars, and two ponds could be seen in the surrounding area. The rock plains are also littered with prehistoric stone tools.

A group of archaeological research officers from the Department of Epigraphy and Numismatics re-transcribed the Thonigala inscriptions under the supervision of the Director of Epigraphy and Numismatics, Namal Kodithuvakku as instructed by the Director General of Archaeology, Professor Anura Manatunga.

However, it is reported that obstacles prevailed in providing facilities to the public to view the inscriptions while it is under the protection of the Vavuniya Civil Defence Force.

Furthermore, Vavuniya Archaeology Officers said no funds have been allocated for the Thonigala Inscription salvation pilot project and that if funds are allocated, a plan could be implemented to enable the public to view the inscriptions while the inscriptions are protected.

BY Shashi Kumar – Mulativu