We find the reference made to Botswana in Meg Burd's article entitled "A Diamond Might Not Be So Pretty" grossly deceptive and misleading to unsuspecting members of the public. The London-based nongovernmental organization Survival International has been given the facts about the relocation of people from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, but its director, Mr. Stephen Corry, and a close circle of his associates have chosen to play ignorant to the facts and persisted in making false and misleading allegations about the relocation and government's policies toward the development needs of Basarwa of the central Kgalagadi. Mr. Corry, his close associates and their collaborators have sought to put pressure on the Botswana government to accede to their ill-informed and ill-intentioned demands by targeting Botswana's diamond industry – the main source of the country's prosperity and the means by which the government is able to provide for the welfare and development needs of all citizens of Botswana. Mr. Corry and his associates' falsehoods have not only been disputed by the government of Botswana but also by many others who have made an effort to establish the veracity of the allegations. Numerous independent observers, including British Parliamentarians, members of the European Parliament, representatives of international NGOs, international reporters, etc., have visited the CKGR and the relocated communities at the new settlements of Kgoesakeni (New Xade), Kaudwane and Xere to establish the facts firsthand, and their observations and reports stand in clear contrast to the allegations made by Survival International.
We therefore wish to caution members of the international community, particularly members of the media, to be wary of information distributed by Survival International and its collaborators about Botswana. Survival International's campaign against Botswana has been widely discredited and it should be seen for what it really is – a cheap, calculated and malicious use of Basarwa of the central Kgalagadi as a fundraising gimmick for the NGO.
Public Relations, Research and Information Division
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation