🇱🇰 Sri Lanka Post has released 3 new issues since the beginning of the year - each a single stamp issue.
5 January - Golden Jubilee of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation - designed by Pulasthi Ediriweera. Rating:- ***.
12 January - 30th anniversary of the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. Designed by Pulasthi Ediriweera. Rating:- **.
16 January - Centenary of Visakha Vidyalaya, a Buddhist Girls' school. Designed by Sanath Rohana Wickramasinghe. Rating:- **.
🇮🇳 India Post issued a single stamp to commemorate the Birth Centenary of Dr MG Ramachandran, the former Chief minister of Tamilnadu. Dr Ramachandran was previously depicted on an Indian stamp issued in 1990. This is yet another one of those unimaginative "head and shoulders" designs in which India Post seems to specialise. Rating:- **.
It hardly seems credible but India Post released its next stamp issue, a Rs100 miniature sheet, on 18 January 2017, the day after the Ramachandran stamp. On the subject of "Coffee", the miniature sheet has the fragrance of coffee and this gimmick probably explains why the item has a relatively high face value for what we have come to expect from India Post. There does not seem any necessity for such an issue and it seems to reflect India Post's philatelic rapid downward spiral into excessive issuing. If I were them I should just put my stamp programme into the hands of Stamperija - less effort required to produce the same degree of excess. Rating:- 0.
🇳🇿 Some items which I haven't mentioned recently are the "Personalised postage booklets" issued by New Zealand Post. These are self-adhesive pieces of paper which indicate the pre-payment of postage - which seems to me to be the definition of a postage stamp. New Zealand Post, however, says "As with Personalised Postage these booklets are not stamps but labels. They do not contain the words "New Zealand" or carry the official New Zealand Post unique identifier, the fern. As these are
labels and not stamps they do not have a specific issue date. All booklets will be available for
purchase as they are released through selected retail outlets, our website and the Collectables and
Of course, that is complete rubbish. I repeat - they are gummed pieces of paper which act as a receipt for the prepayment of postage and if affixed to an envelope should ensure the carriage of that envelope i.e. Item of mail through the post. And of course every stamp has a day of issue - it may not be "an official date of issue" but there has to be a date on which the stamp becomes available for use even if it is only at a single site of purchase - the stamp has been issued on that date - it's a specific issue date no matter what New Zealand Post says about it.
So these "labels" are postage stamps and therefore of interest to stamp collectors and are a part of a collection of the stamps of New Zealand Post which is the representative of New Zealand itself.
Having established that, we note that a booklet of 10 x $1 stamps (2 x 5 different stamps) was issued (on a specific but not announced date) which commemorated the centenary of the New Zealand Red Cross. The booklet is being sold for $11 because $1 from that sum is donated to the New Zealand Red Cross. Rating:- ***.
There are also 20 "Regional" booklets - 10 x $10 booklets (containing 10 x $1 stamps) and 10 x $22 booklets (containing 10 x $2.20c stamps) - each booklet contains 10 different stamps (the designs in the $10 and $22 booklets are the same) with the featured subjects being relevant to each area. The featured areas are Auckland, Canterbury, Eastern/Central North Island, Lower South Island, New Zealand iconic images, Western North Island, Top of South, Waikato, Wellington and West Coast. If a collector wishes to buy all 20 regional booklets (a total of 200 different stamps) the total cost would be NZ$320 (£186.63p). Being a collector of modern Commonwealth stamps isn't easy is it?