By Mohammed NAALIR
The Postal Services Ministry has decided to print stamps for international exhibitions, with 100 different varieties for this purpose.
The Philatelic Bureau receives invitations to participate in philatelic exhibitions abroad. The Bureau will display a large number of Sri Lankan stamps, Coordinating Officer to the Minister and Advisor to the Philatelic Advisory Board (PAB) Janaka Mallimarachchi said.
Four stamps depicting antique cars were issued last December. We received a good response from the international presence.
Plans are afoot to issue stamps of the Dutch fort shortly. Ten stamps will be issued to commemorate 100 years of the Railway Department.
There is a big demand for such stamps in the international market. There are a large number of philatelists in foreign countries who are interested in collecting stamps depicting the history of Sri Lanka.
Last year we issued 10 stamps to promote the tourism industry in Sri Lanka. This year also stamps will be issued to promote the industry.
The Philatelic Bureau will issue 10 stamps to the international market depicting the Peraheras of the temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. The Katharagama, Saman Devala and Gangarama. Those days we did not pay attention to Pereheras when stamps were issued.
We wanted to attract the international market, the Advisor said.
The Philatelic Bureau took different themes to print stamps. This year’s theme is Perehera.
He said that some individual philatelists have registered with the Postal Department.
He said that the Postal Department will call upon philatelists to register with the Department.
Only registered societies will be entitled to enjoy the benefits offered by the Postal Department.
Plans are afoot to issue stamps depicting the Yala National Park he said.
Last year the Philatelic Bureau issued 2.5 million stamps depicting Sri Lanka’s longest ViceRoy steam train. All stamps have been sold out.
The Postal Services Ministry plans to hold an international philatelic exhibition in Sri Lanka.
A Secretariat will also be set up for this purpose, Mallimarachchi said.
There is a procedure to issue new stamps. Stamps are issued on the recommendations of the PAB which meet once a month.
An advertisement calling for institutions, individuals and schools willing to pose for stamps. Schools which have completed 100 years are permitted to be depicted on stamps.
Minister Jeewan Kumaratunga has taken steps to set up philatelic societies in schools throughout the country including the North and the East.
Stanley Gibbons has given a serial number to Sri Lanka for philately. Stamps must be collected on that basis.
The Ministry hopes to train schoolchildren in philately.
Setting up philatelic societies in schools will help to achieve this goal, Coordinating Secretary said.
The students will be trained on how to collect stamps. Stamp exhibitions will be held to encourage students in philately.
The Philatelic societies in schools will motivate schoolchildren towards philately.
Minister Kumaratunga launched a program to set up philatelic societies in schools in the Colombo district. The program will be introduced to other districts including the North and the East shortly. Mallimarachchi said that if proper methods are followed philately could be a good income source. For instance, when a stamp depicting Vijaya Kumaratunga was issued in 1992. The value of the stamp today is Rs. 7,500 according to Stanley Gibbon’s categorisation.
According to this categorisation the value of Sri Lankan “Dull Rose” stamp is nearly 70,000 starlings founds. When it was issued its value was only four pennies. With the lapse of time the value of these stamps will increase.
A philatelic exhibition to encourage schoolchildren towards philately targeting the Western Province will be conducted in Colombo. Successful philatelists will be awarded. The exhibition will be held after setting up philatelic societies in schools. “Forty-two societies have been set up so far”, Mallimarachchi said.
The Year Book provided information on stamp issued. Minister Kumaratunga has taken steps to update the book.
The Independent Philatelic Society (IPS) plays a key role in encouraging and motivating philatelists. The Society provides stamps to members. The IPS conducts workshops for members.
The stamps from the first day cover to the stamps till 2012 will be updated in the website, Mallimarachchi said. The stamps issued from 1949 are available now.
The IPS plays a keyrole in setting up of philatelic societies in the schools and supporting the Postal Department.
The IPS will register philatelic societies in schools.
“Newly issued stamps will be on sale only for two years. Thereafter, it will be withdrawn. Sri Lanka has taken part in international philatelic exhibitions abroad. We have taken part in exhibitions in Japan and India”, Mallimarachchi said.
The Inland Revenue Department has old valuable stamps. The Minister is holding discussions with relevant authorities to take further action relating to stamps.