The Bahamas Post Office will issue a set of 4 Christmas stamps on 14 November 2016 depicting scenes from The Nativity. The issue was designed by Andrew Robinson and lithographed by Cartor and perforated 13.5. Production co-ordination was by Creative Direction. Rating:- ****.
Creative Direction was also responsible for the production coordination of the excellent 6 stamps and accompanying miniature sheet which will be released by the Falkland Islands postal service on 21 November 2016 which will be on the subject of Endemic plants of the islands. The issue was designed by Leigh-Anne Woolfhardt (she has produced some beautiful illustrations) and lithographed by BDT International Security Printers and perforated 14. Rating:- *****.
According to publicity, Maldives Post issued a single stamp miniature sheet in a limited edition of 1,200 on 1 October 2016, 12 days before the country's president, the near tyrannical Abdulla Yameen, withdrew the island-state from The Commonwealth. The issue commemorated Maharaja Agrasen, a legendary king of Agroha in India which was a city of traders. It was intended that 1000 of the items would be reserved for sale to Indian businessmen and businesswomen and one was presented to the Indian government "in a symbolic gesture of appreciation of the close ties between India and Maldives - and to further develop the ties - especially in business". Yes, I'm sure that the gift of a Stamperija-produced "miniature sheet" is going to do wonders for Indian-Maldives relations! The Stamperija website indicates that the item is sold out - presumably hoards of Indian businessman have been fighting to obtain an example of this item. Or perhaps not. Rating:- 0.
Meanwhile, although Maldives has left The Commonwealth there are still philatelic products to mention which Stamperija claims to have "issued" before 13 October 2016 which is when the country left the organisation and its stamps quitted The Commonwealth Catalogue. Thus we have another 10 "sheetlets", each containing 4 "stamps" and 10 accompanying " miniature sheets" which are said to have been "issued" on 8 September 2016. The featured subjects are the 40th anniversary of Concorde's commercial service, 125th birth anniversary of Sergei Prokoviev, 75th anniversary of the Battle of Moscow, Centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign, International Year of Pulses, 30th anniversary of the Musee D'Orsay, 60th anniversary of the Wedding of Prince Ranier of Monaco and Grace Kelly, 1st Birthday of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and a "Tribute to Prince", deceased US performer of popular music. These are all similar in design style and it is not worthwhile depicting the stuff here. Rating:- 0.
However there is a tenth issue in the same style which is worth depicting since its subject matter has a great irony to it. This "set" commemorates the 50th anniversary of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which the current Maldives government is abusing notoriously at present - members of opposition parties have been arrested and jailed and the former President has been forced to flee from the country and is currently exiled in Britain. It was for the very reason that it wished to avoid the country being censured by and suspended from The Commonwealth that the current oppressive government announced Maldives' withdrawal from the organisation - so an issue celebrating a document which promotes civil and political rights has the smell of cynicism and hypocrisy about it.
The "miniature sheet" is also interesting in that it depicts prominently the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan religious leader detested by the leaders of The People's Republic Of China, with which the current Maldives government is trying to strengthen ties - I doubt that the Chinese government will be pleased to see the face of the Dalai Lama feature so prominently on a "stamp" with the name of Maldives inscribed on it. Stamperija strikes again! Rating:- 0.