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B/N 932 – Golden Jubilee of the Philatelic Bureau of Sri Lanka

The Philatelic Bureau of the Department of Posts has issued a new postage stamp in the denominations of Rs. 35.00 to markthe Golden Jubilee commemoration of the Philatelic Bureau, on 8th November, 2017.


Date of Issue: 8th November 2017
Denomination: Rs.35.00
Stamp Designer:

Mr.P. IsuruChathuranga

Catalogue No: CSL2260
Stamp Size: Diameter 29mm
Sheet Composition: 20 stamps per sheet

First Day Cover


Golden Jubilee of the Philatelic Bureau of Sri Lanka

The Philatelic Bureau of Sri Lanka was established in the early half of 1967 by a Special Act of Parliament and at the beginning it was under the control of the Postmaster General and the Director of Telecommunications.

The first Advisory Board meeting of the Philatelic Bureau of Sri Lanka was held on October 01, 1967 presided over by the Chairman of the Advisory Board, the Postmaster General and the Director of Telecommunications, Mr A. Lloyd Perera. The other Members of the Committee were Messrs S. Sittampalam, Commissioner of Inland Revenue; G.L.W. Amarasekera, Assistant Director, Economic Affairs of the General Treasury and B. Neville F. Mendis, Superintendent of Posts, Secretary to the Advisory Committee.

Matters such as the future activities of the Philatelic Bureau, the appointment of a Director for that purpose and the provision of office facilities were discussed at this meeting.

As per the decision taken at that discussion, functions of the Philatelic Bureau were commenced in the Record room of the Postmaster General's Office situated in the General Post Office building in Colombo. This Section had been housed just beyond the stamp counter of the General Post Office.

However, within a short period of time, steps were taken to shift the Postmaster General's Office and the Record room along with the Philatelic Bureau from the General Post Office and to house them at the Central Telecommunications Office.

At that time one Mr.HidellaArachchi had functioned as the first Director of the Philatelic Bureau and functions such as the design and printing of stamps which were till then performed by the Department of Inland Revenue were taken under the Philatelic Bureau.

Before long, the Philatelic Bureau was shifted to the fourth floor of the Ceylinco Building in Colombo Fort and Mr. P. Kulatilake, Attorney-at-Law, was appointed its Director.

By that time the composition of the external members of the Advisory Board of the Philatelic Bureau was as follows:

  1. The Government Printer
  2. The Principal of the Institute of Aesthetic Studies
  3. Director of Cultural Affairs
  4. Director of the Tourist Board.
  5. Two veteran collectors of stamps and a dealer of stamps nominated by the Minister of Public Works, Posts and Tlecommunications

The Philatelic Bureau recorded a vast improvement under the guidance of Mr.Kulathilake and during that period many steps were taken to promote stamps of Sri Lanka among Sri Lankan as well as foreign stamp enthusiasts. Action was also taken to appoint two agents of stamps for the sale of Sri Lankan stamps in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Mr.Kulathilake held the office of Director of the Philatelic Bureau for a long period and after him no permanent Director had been appointed for quite a long time.

The Philatelic Bureau which had been functioning at the Ceylinco Building was subsequently shifted to the Central Post Office of Colombo and from there to the Moors' Islamic Cultural Hall and in 2005 to the Postal Headquarters building at D.R. WijewardhaneMawatha

Today, the Postal Museum and Stamps Exhibition Centre too are functioning under the Philatelic Bureau. With the hobby of collecting stamps being popular in the island, the services of the Philatelic Bureau too have been expanded to a great extent.

At present, the following are the main functions of the Philatelic Bureau:

  1. Design and printing of stamps required for use in Sri Lanka and other stamp-related materials
  2. Provision of stamps and related items to stamp enthusiasts who are distributed locally as well as internationally
  3. Undertaking promotional activities required for the popularization of the hobby of Philately.

In view of the above functions, a comprehensive progamme has been launched by the Philatelic Bureau and to assist such action, a Divisional Philately PromotionOfficer has been attached to each Division of the Superintendent of Posts.

Mini Bureaus of the Philatelic Bureau have been established affiliated to Post Offices in a few areas which have received tourist attraction.

Facilities have been enhanced for local and foreign stamp enthusiasts to purchase stamps through standing orders along with added facilities to credit money to one's Standing Order Account and also to place orders for stamps on line via internet.

It has been established that there is a need for a secondary market for the promotion of the hobby of Philately in Sri Lanka through events such as the Colombo Stamp Show organized by the Philatelic Bureau about once in two months, with the participation of private stamp dealers.

Thus, in view of the above functions performed by the Philatelic Bureau it can be stated that it performs a task which is not second to that performed by other Philatelic Bureaus in the advanced countries of the world.

All rights received. All right to identify the Department of Posts as the Author and designer of this Bulleting has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988.No part to this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by and means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior permission from the publisher. Any person who does and unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.