Cheddi Jagan stamps not a postal function – President Granger
By Devina Samaroo
Though the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) has been printing philatelic stamps honouring various personalities for years, President David Granger this morning insisted that the commemorative stamps for Cheddi Jagan is not a postal function.
“The Government of Guyana supports the honouring…of all of its former presidents and we were concerned that the request should be put in the context of honouring President Jagan rather than postal…it’s not a postal function; it’s not a matter of delivering letters from Leonora to Linden or Bartica to Lethem.
“I think some of the commentators seem to feel that it’s a postal function,” President Granger said when asked by News Room on the sidelines of an event at State House.
Minister of Public Telecommunications Cathy Hughes had announced in February that the Post Office would be issuing commemorative stamps to celebrate the former president’s 100th birth anniversary, following an arrangement with the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre (CJRC).
But according to President Granger, the CJRC might have misinterpreted the purpose of the honouor.
“It’s a function of honouring a distinguished Guyanese and we wanted to put that in the correct context and we wanted to ensure that other distinguished Guyanese are also honoured. But there was a delay but we’ve approved the issuance of the stamps. But the delay was caused by setting the context and ensuring that other deserving Guyanese would not be subject to arbitrary or ad-hoc recommendations,” the President said.
President Granger said the stamps have already been printed and that they will be issued shortly.
The CJRC, based on its arrangement with the GPOC, was expecting the stamps to be delivered in time for the 100th birth anniversary of Dr Jagan on March 22, 2018.
However, the Research Centre said when it contacted the Post Office for an update, it was advised to contact the Ministry of the Presidency.
The Research Centre had expressed grave concerns since it was a business transaction and it already made a down payment of $200,000.
Former Chairman of the GPOC, Juan Edghill, explained to News Room that the Post Office previously printed stamps honouring Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, and O.J Simpson upon the request of private entities.
Edghill explained that usually when the request for a commemorative stamp is made, the Post Office would assess its value and the probability of its sale and thereafter liaise with the International Postal Union.