Wewelketiya Slab Inscription

Wewelketiya Slab Inscription
The Wewelketiya Slab Inscription (Sinhala: වේවැල්කැටිය පුවරු ලිපිය) is found erected on a plot of land situated in the Wewelketiya village in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka.

The record
The stone slab on which the inscription is engraved is 6 feet 6 inches in height and 1 foot 8 inches in width (Ranawella, 2004). The record contains 45 lines of writing engraved between parallel horizontal lines (Ranawella, 2004; Wickremasinghe, 1912).

The script and the language of the record are Sinhala of the 10th century (Ranawella, 2004). It is dated in the second year of a king-styled Sirisangbo Abha, the son of a king who is also styled Sirisangbo (Ranawella, 2004). According to scholars, this is none other than King Udaya IV [(946-954 A.D.) Ranawella, 2004].

About 14 inscriptions with texts very similar to the Wewelketiya inscription have been discovered in several other places in the country such as Kahatagasdigiliya, Dombavalagama, Vessagiriya, Maluveyaya, Hingurakgoda, Kottapitiya, Velgam Vehera, Ilakkattu-eba, Vannadi Palama, Karum-Puliyamkulam, Seruvila-Somapura, Mi-Hondawewa (Ranawella, 2004). Another inscription of this group is also found preserved in the Inscription Gallery of the Colombo National Museum (Ranawella, 2004). Except for the Colombo National Museum inscription, which is engraved on a stone pillar, the rest of the records are slab inscriptions (Ranawella, 2004).

These all inscriptions contain an edict concerning the administration of justice in various Dasagamas [(units of ten villages; the modern Gam-dahaya or Pattu in Tamil) and these Dasagamas are termed in them as Demel Veher Pamaniyen Dasagama or as Veher Demel pamaniyen Dasagama (Ranawella, 2004). According to Ranawella, the phrase Demel Veher Pamaniyen or the other phrase Veher Demel pamaniyen was the name of a special kind of Pamanu, like Rad-pamanu (royal grants), Hira-sanda pamanu (perpetual grants), Badu-pamanu (rental grants), Pet-pamanu (share grants) and Vavastha pamanu [(enacted grants) Ranawella, 2004]. These inscriptions also revealed that the administration of justice in a Dasagama had been carried out by a Judicial Committee or a panel of judges called Dasagama Attan [(the Elders or Senior citizens of the Dasagama) Ranawella, 2004].

The Wewelketiya inscription records an edict that had been issued to be effective on some Dasagamas in a region named Kibindu-bima in Amgam-kuliya District of the Northern Quarter of Rajarata (Ranawella, 2004).

1) Ranawella, S., 2004. Inscription of Ceylon. Volume V, Part II. Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 955-9159-30-5. pp.173-182.
2) Wickremasinghe, D.M.D.Z., 1912. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscription of Ceylon, Vol. I. London. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon. pp.241-.

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This page was last updated on 11 June 2023

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