Sri Lankan stamp to commemorate Ho Chi Minh

Thursday, 1 May 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka has issued a stamp commemorating Ho Chi Minh, a revolutionary communist leader who led the Viet Minh independence movement from 1941 onward, establishing the communist-ruled Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 and defeating the French Union in 1954 at the battle of Dien Bien Phuthat. He is reputed to have visited the island several times. He was Prime Minister (1945–1955) and President (1945–1969) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). Senior Minister for Human Resources, D.E.W. Gunasekera said that the Vietnamese leader was one of few international political figures to be featured in Sri Lankan stamps along with Mahathma Gandhi. “He has visited Sri Lanka several times during his revolutionary life. We believe that the issuance of the Ho Chi Minh stamp would be another step to promote bilateral co-operation and promote more people to people and business between our two countries,” Hanoi’s ambassador to Colombo Ton Sinh Thanh said. Ho Chi Minh had also travelled to Britain, the US in the early 1900s and lived and worked in those countries. During such travels the ships had passed through Colombo. On at least one occasion he had stayed at Colombo’s Colonial Hotel, in front of the main railway station in the capital Colombo on his way to Paris, D.E.W. Gunasekera said. Ho Chi Minh was born on 5 May 1890. He officially stepped down from power in 1965 due to health problems, but remained a highly visible figurehead and inspiration for those Vietnamese fighting for his cause – a united, communist Vietnam – until his death in 1969. After the war, Saigon, the former capital of the Republic of Vietnam, was renamed Ho Chí Minh City; however, the name Saigon is still very widely used.