24 October 2011

2011 Flood of Cambodia

Currently the world's attention is focusing on the extensive flood of Thailand. High pressure over the north South China Sea has made the typhoons of this year hit the Indochinese Peninsula more frequent than usual, this multiplies the amount of monsoon rainfall over the northern and central parts of the Peninsula. Consequently the Mekong and the Maenam (the Chao Phraya River) swell which flood Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.

Cambodia has fallen as one of the victims of global climate change.
Postcard: flooded Phnom Penh in 1990s
Stamp: 2010 Combat Climate Change
Postmark: 05/06/10 Phnom Penh CPO.

In Cambodia nearly 250 lives are claimed by flooding since August whilst 18 of the 23 provinces are soaked. Agricultural land in Kampong Chhnang, Kandal and Svay Rieng provinces is waterlogged, fortunately Battambang, the bread basket of the country, is only little affected.

The beauty of Kampong Chhnang Province.
Postcard: Kampong Chhnang rural scene
Stamp: 2004 Khmer Aspect
Postmark: 14/05/05 Kampong Chhnang City PO

Areas affected by flooding. (Source: WMO)

Mail traffic is not seriously affected because traditionally from May to October it is the rainy season and so mail mostly travels by air rather than by land.

12 October 2011

Bogus Stamps Showing Helicopters

In the May 2011 issue of Indo-China Philatelist (ICP #198), philatelist Thierry Wiart called for attention of a Cambodian bogus issue featuring Charles de Gaulle.

There are at least two more bogus stamps not mentioned by Wiart, they are in the same presentation but depicting helicopters, and the country name is now in English but not French. Below shows the stamps in horizontal pair:

The selvedge suggests that they may be in bottom left corner position of a sheetlet, it is unclear if a 9v sheetlet exists, just like that of de Gaulle.

The de Gaulle series has used the country names of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. So far only Cambodia has the helicopters but not the other two Indochinese countries.

2 October 2011

"Taxe Percue" of Cambodia

Postage due stamps of independent Cambodia were first introduced in 1957.

In Cambodia no postage due stamps have been issued since postal service resumed in 1979, in fact it is unnecessary to have them because almost all mail senders take their mail to post office to pay and send, occurrence of postage underpayment by senders (I am not making myself stupid by stating "by senders", it can be done by POSTAL CLERKS) is rare.

However a "T.P" (acronym for French "taxe perçue") handstamp cachet is in use, it does not serve the purpose of postage due or postal tax, it tells postage is collected.

This 1991 cover gives a good illustration on the usage. During the inflation period of late 1980s and early 1990s, some post offices were short in postage stamps which caught up with inflation. This cover postmarked 30th November 1991 was franked with one obsolete 3r stamp only, the actual postage of 200r was paid right at the post office counter. "T.P" indicates postage has been fully paid at counter.

Below is a recent sample. On this 2009 cover only one 1500r stamp was affixed, the left out 800r postage was paid at the counter. "T.P" was used to mark full postage paid.

Sometimes "T.P" is used on official mail. Below is from the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications, "T.P" once again served as postage paid indicator.