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About three thousand inscriptions have been copied since the inception of epigraphical work in the island. Of these, the more important inscriptions have been selected and published in various journals i. e. the Epigraphia Zeylanica. As far back in 1934, when late Dr. S. Paranavitana was the acting Archaeological Commissioner, he mooted the idea of compiling a Corpus of Ceylon Inscriptions to include both published and unpublished material in chronological order. Accordingly, in 1970, the first Volume containing 1276 inscriptions was published. It included all the inscriptions in the earlier form of the Brāhmi script containing cave and other inscriptions from the 3rd century B. C. to the 1st century A. D. The history of this venture is given in detail in the preface to Volume One.
The printing of the Second Volume was started by late Dr. Paranavitana in 1971 and was continued till his death in 1972. This was personally supervised by Dr. Paranavitana himself and the printing was entrusted to the Ceylon University Press when it was in Colombo. Unfortunately, the manuscript and proofs were lost when the press was shifted later to the Moratuwa University. After considerable efforts, these were recovered and the present publication was brought to light.
Dr. Paranavitana wanted to write the introduction after reading the whole proof but unfortunately, this could not be done before his death. Therefore, the Introduction and the Glossary will be included in Part Two of this Volume. The manuscript was also incomplete with regard to references and these had to be found out after considerable difficulty. It was decided to print this Volume in two parts to prevent further delay in the publication.
I must thank in particular, Mrs. Malini Dias, Epigraphical Assistant, for her untiring efforts in helping me with the proofs, preparing photographs, arranging them in plates and acting as the liaison officer between the press and the department.
I have pleasure in placing on record my appreciation of the active encouragement received from Mr. Walter Ladduwahetti and Mr. Somapala Jayawardhana, the Secretary and the Additional Secretary respectively, to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
Finally, I wish to think Professor C. Patuwatavitandi, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa, Nr. F. K.P. Sirimanne, University Printer, Assistant Printer Vr. D.H.R. Jayawardhana and the Press Staff.
Saddhamangala Karunaratne, Archaeological Commissioner.
Department of Archaeology, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka, Ist January 1983