28 April 2012

Cambodian Diana Bogus Stamps at Michael Rogers Mail Sale

In mail sale #103 of Michael Rogers which just closed on 27th April 2012, lot #1967 is a set of Cambodian 1997 Princess Diana commemorative "deluxe sheets".

Below is a screen capture of the online sale list relevant section, lot #1967 has a thumbnail of one of the eight sheets:

These so called "deluxe sheets" have been covered in my 23rd June 2009 blog entry "Bogus Princess Diana Stamps".

Cambodia released a sheetlet of 8 stamps with a label in commemoration of Princess Diana on 15th December 2007 (Sc 1685 / Mi 1778-1785). FDCs are the only related product produced by the Cuban printer COPREFIL and sold by agent Global Philatelie GmbH.

Probably due to time and energy saving, the creator used the same selvedge patterns on a few other bogus items as well, some Diana themed, some not. Below shows two of them:

Here is the origin. The generic selvedge patterns are cropped from 1998 Diana commemoratives of Chad (Sc 774):

Collectors are reminded that the Cambodian issue is not part of any omnibus series, it does not share uniform design with other countries.  The so called "deluxe sheets" are 100% bogus.

Sometimes counterfeits or even bogus items do appear in public auctions and sales of reputable dealers, chaotic stamp floods and lack of reliable information contributes to the hardship of distinguishing authentic issues from bogus.

The authentic 8v plus label Diana sheetlet of Cambodia is illustrated below. Notice the decorative selvedge line box, if deluxe sheets were issued, it is logic that the same orange line box would have been employed, not the garland.

Please click here for my 23rd June 2009 blog entry "Bogus Princess Diana Stamps".

17 April 2012

US Defense Attache Office in Phnom Penh

Postmarked 30th June 2000 and received on 5th July, this is a mail from the US Defense Attache Office (USDAO) of the US Embassy in Phnom Penh to Sugar Land of Texas. It was delivered by the US Air Force postal service which takes care of both US army and air force mail.

Seal of USDAO

USDAO in Phnom Penh is the representative of the American Secretary of Defense, the Military Service Secretaries and the Commander of US Pacific Command. The office also serves as military advisors to the Chief of Mission and provide liason with the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

Prior to July 1997 Hun Sen's coup, the US had been the biggest supplier of military aid to Cambodia, but defence assistance was prohibited since then until 2005 when Washington announced that it would overturn its ban on military aid to Cambodia.

Currently the major military donors of Cambodia are China, Vietnam, Australia and France.

1 April 2012

1983 SE Asia Peace Forum, Phnom Penh

On 25th February 1984 Cambodia put into circulation a set of three stamps to commemorate the International Forum on Peace in Southeast Asia.

The forum was held a year ago on 25th and 26th February 1983. Information about it is rare and so the stamp issue does not catch much attention from collectors. The only English language publication on the forum is by the Information Centre of the World Peace Council in Finland, titled "For Peace in Southeast Asia".

According to the publication, the two day event in Phnom Penh was convened by the World Peace Council (WPC) in cooperation with the Kampuchean Committee of Peace and Defence. The Soviet backed council had mindset of a world divided into the non-aggressive Soviet group and the war-minded imperialistic group, headed by USA.

Emblem of the forum. The one shown on stamp is not official.

Romesh Chandra, president of WPC chaired the forum with around 40, mostly socialist groups worldwide participated. Chea Sim, then the Cambodian national assembly president, and Hun Sen, then vice president of Council of Ministers and foreign minister of Cambodia were among the presenters.

A shot at the forum held at Bassac Theatre.

The authority mobilized 140,000 people for a mass rally at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium on last day of the forum as a sign of support from "peace loving people". Basically the events were an instrument for the Soviet backed Vietnam to "confirm" achievement in national construction and defence in Cambodia, to embrace the idea that peace of Southeast Asia could only be realized by unity and unanimity of Indochina, and to condemn the "war-mongering forces" which refer to the Americans, her allies including ASEAN, China, as well as the Prince Sihanouk led Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (Information Centre of the World Peace Council, 1983, p22-23). At the time Vietnam was in hostile relationship with China.

Peace forum stamp used on international mail in 1984.

It was all a part of the Cold War. In 1970s Sino-Soviet split got worse, the Soviet therefore formed a military alliance with Vietnam to hinder China's influence in Indochina. In response China and USA allied themselves after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. China and USA supported the resistance against the new Phnom Penh regime while Vietnam and the Soviet patronized it.

Just two days before the forum, a similar show was put on in Vientiane of Laos, the Summit of the Indochinese Countries. The main agenda was to promote an alliance with Vietnam in fighting against USA and China. It also strengthened the dominance of Vietnam over Laos, both in economy and politics.

Stamps issued by Vietnam in 1983 to mark the summit conference of Laos,
Cambodia and Vietnam. To justify Vietnam's influence, shamrock is used
to refer to the relationship of the three countries.

Reference: Information Centre of the World Peace Council (1983), For Peace in Southeast Asia, Helsinki: Information Centre of the World Peace Council.