Having ranted at length about the lack of Sri Lankan monarchs on stamps, I have been forced to mince a few words with the discovery of a 1956 stamp featuring Vijaya’s arrival in Sri Lanka. However, my point was that we do not have any stamps with a Sri Lankan king as the primary subject, in a dignified, portrait like format. Just to prove my seriousness and dedication to this cause, I have pored over my ENTIRE Sri Lankan collection AGAIN (with a magnifying glass this time). Here’s what I found regarding kings on stamps.
This stamp of Vijaya and Kuveni was issued to celebrate 2500 years of Buddhism. What the fuck does Buddhism have to do with Vijaya’s landing in Thambapanni? Surely we are not saying that Vijaya brought us Buddhism? This stamp was issued post independence, else I would have imagined that a clueless white colonial dude designed it.
Here we have a stamp featuring a temple painting which shows his Royal Highness King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe presenting a fan to a visiting Thai monk. Yes a F-A-N. Of the hand-held variety. Wow. Was gift giving so alien that they felt the need to commemorate this occasion with a temple painting AND a postage stamp? Now I’m really impressed.
This one is supposed to feature King Devanampiyatissa. It took me some time to realise that the central figure with a veil and pot on their head was not only a man but also the king. And don’t get me started on his nipples. Go on. Zoom in. You know you want to.
Although this 2001 stamp is titled King Vijayabahu I, neither the king nor a hint of any kingly body parts can be seen anywhere since the stamp appears to be about indigenous coins. Unless he was this octopus like multi limbed creature featured on the coin and if so, I never gave him enough credit.
Have I missed any other kingly appearances? Let me know in the comments!