16 March 2011

1985 5th (KPRP) Party Congress Cachet

This cover postmarked 7th October 1985 went from Phnom Penh to Cầu Ngang of Cửu Long Province, Viet Nam. It bears the "5th Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party Congress" hand stamped propaganda cachet in red ink.

The period of use is unknown. A reasonable guess is two weeks to one month before the congress.

Closer look of the Khmer-French cachet. It carries the hammer and sickle - symbol of Communism, and five-towered Angkor Wat silhouette - symbol of the nation seen on the national flag of People's Republic of Kampuchea.

In 1985 the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party (French acronym "PRPK"), sole legal and ruling party of Marxist-Leninist Cambodia at the time, held its 5th Party Congress from 13th to 16th October.

1985 issue commemorating the 115th birth anniversary of Vladimir Lenin.

The first 5 Year Plan of People's Republic of Kampuchea was presented by General Secretary Heng Samrin at the congress which was to call for an economic reform boosting private economy and closer tie with Viet Nam and the Soviet Bloc. The plan labeled agriculture and forestry as the real force of national economy with highest priority given to agricultural production focusing the 4 sectors of food, rubber, fishing, and timber.

PRPK changed its name to the Cambodian People's Party in 1991, the group remains the ruling party of Cambodia till these days.

5 March 2011

1997 Cambodia EMS 6v Birds Set

Express Mail Service (EMS) was first available in Cambodia in 1995, it is faster than express service (red label) which has always been offered by the post office.

On 20th Feburary 1997 Cambodia Post issued a set of 6 songbird stamps, all of them carry the EMS Khmer Express logo in the background:

However the issue is not highlighted by advert as special EMS stamps, philatelic pamphlets just describe it as songbird thematic:

Front and back of the philatelic pamphlet.

As a matter of fact the denominations are awkward, they are too low for EMS yet too high for usual tariff, consequently it makes the set not competent for use and quickly end up at the philatelic counter as souvenir only.

The philatelic counter is more like a tourist souvenir counter, stamps are sold at multiples of face value for customers to collect or use postally. With no surprise the "souvenir" price of this EMS set is high enough which discourages people from consuming these birdies on mail, and therefore postal used copies are very rare.

A recent "out of period" use of EMS stamps on outgoing registered mail.

EMS Khmer Express has never used postage stamps for payment. Below is a typical EMS bag for letters and documents: