The original request for a personalised pro-LTTE postage stamp in Canada depicting ‘Tamil Eelam’ had been turned down by the Canadian postal service in May 2011, the Canadian High Commission in Colombo said yesterday.
A spokesperson for the Canadian High Commission when contacted by the Daily Mirror said, “The original request for the personalised stamp in question was submitted to Canada Post through its Picture Postage website in May 2011. The submission was rejected and the payment was returned to the requester. The representative advised that officials of Picture Postage had determined that the image was not appropriate as a Canadian postage stamp.”
“Such a stamp was never in legal Canadian circulation. Further investigation of Canada Post’s internal records confirmed that no other requests of this nature had been received since May 2011,” the spokesperson added.
On January 3, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Canada Chitranganee Wagiswara wrote to the Canadian authorities about pro-LTTE postage stamps said to have been issued by Canada Post.
She had expressed the Sri Lankan government’s serious concern about the reported release of a pro-LTTE stamp and urged the Canadian authorities to investigate the matter and take appropriate action.
On January 9, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Post Deepak Chopra clarified that such a stamp had never been printed in Canada.
“I had this matter reviewed immediately upon receipt of your letter. Please be assured that the image has never been printed by Canada Post; it is a false representation of our picture postage programme and is being fully investigated by our Security Department,” he wrote to High Commissioner Chitranganee Wagiswara.
He further explained that it “was not printed by our picture postage programme and is in no way part of our official philatelic programme which goes through a very careful selection process including approval by our Board of Director”. (Ayesha Zuhair)