| A Statement issued by the Embassy of Sri Lanka
( January 03, Paris, Sri Lanka Guardian) With regard to stamps originating in France , bearing various symbols representing the LTTE, a terrorist organization listed as such by the EU, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris wishes to make the following statement:
The Embassy of Sri Lanka has been in communication with La Poste which is the issuing authority for official stamps, with regard to the matter of stamps bearing the symbols of an organization which was responsible for many atrocities that are well known by the world community.
The Embassy wishes to inform the Sri Lankan public that it has received a communication from La Poste which informs us that one of their services includes the possibility for the public to create customized or personalized stamps with the option of choosing and uploading freely the image they expect to see. This facility is administered by 3 designated agents who receive over 2000 requests per week. These agents are required to put in place the necessary means for the verification of the images sent to their service by the clients/customers.
La Poste accepts that a collection of “stamps with inappropriate visuals” associated with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, an association classified by the EEC as a terrorist group, had been printed “by mistake”.
La Poste has apologized for this error on behalf of Phil@poste, the entity engaged in the overall administration of the online service.
It further “confirms that these personalized stamps are not in any way a part of the official French philatelic programme” and gives its assurance that no other stamp will be undertaken by their services “with these visuals and for this association”.
The Embassy of Sri Lanka has initiated a process of further representations to the relevant authorities at the highest level about these stamps, which prima facie violate the terms and conditions that have to be met in order to be produced, one of which is that no weapon of any sort should be reproduced. This Embassy also intends to make the case that the systems and controls in place to prevent further occurrences of this sort should be adequate and be sufficiently monitored.