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Friday, September 22, 2006


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Dr. Alexander von Paleske

Survival International has started yet another campaign to portray the Botswana Diamonds as conflict- or blood diamonds.
The latest is an appeal by the head of the Baswara, Roy Sesana, to Hollywood actor Leonardo diCaprio, claiming, that the planned prospecting for diamonds was the reason for their removal from the Kalahari and asking diCaprio for support of their campaign for relocation into the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Di Caprio is starring in a movie about a blood-diamond dealer in Sierra Leone.This letter the was advertised by Survival International.

The Basawara have taken the Government of Botswana to court and the case has been heard in the High Court in Lobatse, Botswana.
Judgement day is set for December this year.
Whatever the case of the Baswara (Bushemen) is, right or wrong, it has absolutely nothing to do with the mining of the Botswana Diamonds. And Survival International knows this only too well.

Botswana diamonds, unlike the diamonds in Sierra Leone, Angola, Namibia amd Democratic Republik of Congo are not surface diamonds, which can basically be mined with simple equipment by anybody. Botswana diamonds are deep underground and require massive investment into the mining plant.
On the other hand the area of mining is therefore relatively small and does not require large tracts of land being sealed off as it is, for example, the case in Namibia.

First of all it is questionable, whether diamonds are in the Central Kalahari area at all, there isn't much indication to that, but even if it would be, then the required land for mining would be less than 1% of the Kalahari Game Reserve.
Survival International and it's Stephen Correy know all this.

The reason, why they continue to disseminate false information lies in the pressure, they want to mount with a sales boycott of diamonds against the Botswana Government, regardless what the consequences for Botswana people in the present and future are.

Botswana, celebrating it's 40th anniversary of independence on 30th September, is a democratic country. Stephen Coorey was allowed to enter the country despite his campaign against the Government and put his points across locally.

The discovery of diamonds , which are mined in two big mines in Orapa and Jwaneng, have enabled the country, at independenece one of the poorest in the world, to become the real success story of Africa.

The income from the sales of diamonds has enabled the country to run the only comprehensive anti-Aids program in Africa, 30.000 patients have been started on antiretrovirals, free of charge.
And the income from the sales of diamonds enables me to treat my cancer patients, some of them being sent for a very costly treatment to South Africa, including memebers of the Basarwa.
The income from the sales of diamonds has been put to good use during all the years, resulting in a superb infrastructure.

Stephen Correy does not care about all this, anything goes, as long as it serves his campaign.

I threfore regard his campaign, irrespective what good intentions he might have, as utter shameful.

Dr. Alexander von Paleske
Head, Department of Oncology
Princess Marina Hospital
Ex-Barrister-at-Law, High Court Frankfurt (M), Germany


It appears that you haven't dealt with the treatment of the San by the Botswana government and the comments on this by the San themselves. Even if you choose to disregard Survival International's case, there is enough from the San themselves and their leadership to warrant serious concern.

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