Writers and newscasters need to beware of trying too hard to be politically correct. The first and last stops on the politically-correct diamonds’ train line are stations called “Censorship” and “Manipulation.”
Have you ever wondered if the monies from non-conflict diamonds ever buy weapons to kill innocent people? Are the people who buy, sell, traffic, and wear blood-less diamonds immune to violence or the financing of violent upheavals? Sports
We are treated to well-financed and hopefully well-intentioned campaigns, cautioning us to ensure that only diamonds with a specific seal are guilt-free. I am not trying to belittle the well-intentioned process, but something is missing here. Let us look at the regulators and how they issue their certification.
The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, or KPCS for short, originated from a meeting of Southern African diamond producing states in Kimberley, Northern Cape in May 2000. Three years later an official certification process took place. From its official commencement date in 2003, in order for a country to be a participant, it must ensure that any diamond originating from the country does not finance an entity seeking to overthrow a UN-recognized government, or a rebel group. KPCS also mandates that every diamond export be accompanied by a Kimberley Process certificate proving that no diamond is imported from, or exported to, a non-member of the scheme. In the corporate world, that is called “restraint of trade.” When Uncle Gates tried something similar, other computer programme sellers filed suit and won.
So if a poor farmer finds a diamond and tries to exercise his legal rights under fair trade laws, in the diamond industry, unless he sells it to the governing organization or member, the world is warned that he will commit diamond treason.
When I checked the data at the U.N, I saw brochures with the continent of Africa with messages and drawings implying that persons other than their authorized sellers who tried to sell rough diamonds, could and most likely would use the monies to finance revolutions.
As a reporter news-hound, when I computed the cost of printing the brochures and the cost of the advertisement campaign, I decided to do some investigative digging. It is my duty to dig. First of all, poor farmers work an average of 16 hours per day, risking their lives in some cases, trying to find one piece of rock big enough to feed their families. They do so in an environment where such entrepreneurial acts are prohibited or controlled mostly. Secondly, the odds are not in their favour; thirdly, the last time I checked the price of an automatic attack rifle, it would take a village of approximately10,000 people working approximately 20 hours per day for at least 10 years to find enough diamonds to purchase 100 semi-automatic rifles.