Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sri Lanka - India Joint Stamp Issue or Not?

Anagarika Dharmapala was a Buddhist revivalist and a reformer from Sri Lanka. He was born in September 1864 in Colombo, growing up in a traditional Sinhala home. Anagarika founded the Mahabodhi Society in Sri Lanka with an aim to upkeep the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya. The ascetic soul worked tirelessly to spread the Buddhist philosophy until he passed away in 1933 in Sarnath, India.

Last year was the 150th birth anniversary year of Anagarika Dharmapala. Sri Lanka Post and India Post released commemorative postage stamps to celebrate the occasion. The Sri Lankan stamp was released on 17th September 2014 and the Indian stamp was released by the President of India on 24th October 2014. 

Although the stamp designs and the release dates are different, the occasion was similar. Considering that Sri Lanka also commemorated the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, it was no surprise that India and Sri Lanka cooperated for this stamp release as well. This was a reciprocal gesture between two neighboring countries. It is important that both the postal departments make a press release describing this coordinated effort for stamp release. This does seem like a joint stamp issue, just lacks a clarification from the authorities.

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