Sri Lanka 2015 Archaeology Department 125th Anniversary

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Sri Lanka issued a stamp and first day cover commemorating the 125th Anniversary of the Department of Archaeology on 8 July 2015. The stamp features Harry Charles Purvis Bell who served as the country’s first archaeological commissioner from 1890 to 1912.

While the Department of Archaeology was established with Bell’s appointment on July 7th 1890, archaeological observations and photography had been taking place even around 1861.

125th Anniversary of Department of Archeology

The stamp backdrop shows HCP Bell in front of the famous Sigirya fresco wall – he was instrumental in the early excavation and preservation work done on what is today an important World Heritage Site

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Sri Lanka School Stamps

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Education in Sri Lanka is a big deal. We have a very high literacy rate, said to be the highest in South Asia and one of the highest when comparing across the whole of Asia. I can’t help wonder though, could this at least partly be a result of, or due to the booming education industry? The government’s free education system is great in theory but there is also a glut of privately run schools, institutes and universities and not all of them deliver. Just to give you some context, our Sunday newspapers often carry TWO multi page educational supplements!

Schools in particular also seem to generate a certain amount of class divide. Of all the things we could have picked up from our British ex-overlords, is the status we seem to confer on those who went to a “good” school. Admittedly, I have not been completely immune to this phenomenon because I still have the occasional fantasy about reading English at Oxford but, that’s a subject for a different post. The number of times I have been asked what school I went to within the first 5 minutes of me meeting someone, well, it’s enough to make my blood boil. And I did attend one of these so called “good” schools – a private convent for girls in fact. Anyone listening to me swear in the vernacular would be hard pressed to imagine that I ever spent any time there.

Allegedly the "best" boys school in Sri Lanka

It all started with this 1985 stamp from Royal College – allegedly the “best” public boys school in Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka Vesak Stamps 2015

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Sri Lanka has been issuing Vesak stamps every year since the late 70s. The majority of these early issues are some of the most treasured in my collection because they depict some awesome bits of history, mythology and art and I tend to geek out over that type of thing. Unfortunately, most of the later ones have not been as interesting and this year is much the same.

We actually had two separate Vesak issues this year with a three stamp set commemorating Vesak and a separate one stamp issue commemorating the State Vesak Festival. Why this was necessary is beyond me and none of the stamps look particularly special.

2015 Vesak stamps

Date of issue: 20 April 2015

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150th Anniversary of the National Hospital

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I’ve been putting off posting this for months because it is so uninspiring. Basically, 20 March 2015 saw Sri Lanka issue yet another dull stamp commemorating the 150th anniversary of, what is at least a useful local institution – the National Hospital. This would have been so much nicer if they left off the people, because the building sketch on the right is actually quite interesting. If you collect medical or architecture related themes, you may want to add this to your collection.

hospital copy

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