Feb 9

Submitted by: David Faulkner

Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa that has suffered severely due to continuous rebel activities from 1991-2002. This nation relies heavily on its mining activities diamond mining in particular but progress has been particularly slow because of corruption and civil uprisings.

Diamonds from Sierra Leone are controversial because a number of them are not actually legal. Not all of the annually produced diamonds, worth around $250-300 million, are channeled through legal conduits because many are smuggled. These so-called “blood diamonds” are widely known to be used to finace illicit activities such as laundering.

In 2001, the United States put an embargo on diamonds from Sierra Leone. Starting from the 1990s, the diamonds from Sierra Leone have been used to fund the RUF, or the Revolutionary United Front led by Corporal Foday Sankoh.

Sierra Leone had its first diamonds mined in 1935. More than 1 million carats were harvested within two years following the first discovery, and over 55 million carats were mined by the company DeBeers between the years 1930 and 1998.

DeBeers, the only company granted mining rights by the Sierra Leone government until 1955, have been mining and distributing diamonds from Sierra Leone exclusively since the year it turned out its first diamond.

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In the movie Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, allegedly pressured the film’s producers into issuing a disclaimer stating that the events depicted in the film are fictional, but the company has denied this.

Diamonds from Sierra Leone have reportedly been spirited out illegally by 75,000 miners in 1955. In that same year, the new administration put an end to the DeBeers monopoly of the diamonds from Sierra Leone trade and allowed other companies to move in.

When insurgency broke out in the 1990s, rebel forces were reportedly getting funding for their activities by stealing diamonds. Thus, the term “blood diamonds.”

Unstoppable killings

The diamond trade continued to fund the RUF rebels who pursued their uprisings against the government. Despite an agreement between the RUF head and the government, the bloodshed went on. To put a stop to the anarchy, the United Nations then issued a directive that nobody could buy diamonds from Sierra Leone legally.

There were a few countries such as Liberia, however, which continued the trading of diamonds from Sierra Leone. It was a profitable underground business, and these unscrupulous individuals didn’t care about the repercussions, as long as they gained financially from their nefarious activities.

The diamonds from Sierra Leone were sold on the open market in Liberia, until this neighboring nation exported over four times the amount of their own diamond production including them in the blood diamonds supplier list. For more info see


on white diamonds symbolize.

At present, certifications are issued to distinguish legally traded diamonds from the diamonds from Sierra Leone. These Certificates are made to ensure that no one, as a buyer, would be supporting the killings that have been ravaging the nation.

This directive, however, is not foolproof and has not totally stemmed the illegal diamond trade from Sierra Leone.

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Sep 24

Submitted by: Kely Travis

People spend years to save this amount for the great day as wedding arrangements involve many elaborate events that involve heavy expenditure. Maximum expenses are incurred on the venue where the ceremony would be held and arrangements made. The wedding dress for the bride and bridegroom itself costs a big sum. You have to also incur heavy expenses on caterers, dinner, wine, decorations and many other things. Nowadays you cant think of weddings without flowers. Flowers are an important part of decorations and are also a great cost. Keeping all these expenses in view, the best thing to do for cutting the expenses and yet have a beautiful wedding is to plan on cheap wedding flowers.

Flowers are important for the wedding ceremony. Yet there is no logic for spending exorbitantly on them that you cannot save money for any other event or activity. But at the same time it would not be sensible to save money by getting poor quality flowers. Instead you can get cheap, freshly cut and hand selected flowers directly shipped from the producers at wholesale rates. These cheap wedding flowers would give the appearance that they were of good quality and you can save substantially on the cost incurred.

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Tons of cheap wedding flowers are generally available easily, but what you need is the variety of good quality and fresh cheap wedding flowers in huge quantity for complementing the walkway or for filling the wedding hall. Some of the local nurseries might have some species but these cannot be in huge quantity. The order for such a big quantity of wedding flowers has to be placed with a reliable dealer. For an important event like wedding, one cannot take a chance. Generally couples prefer glamorous flowers for the wedding but local stores carry only a limited variety of plants. You have to find a reliable supplier who has adequate stock of these flowers available or knows from where to get these. Online flower shops will be the only answer because they have access to different types of plants all over the world.

The biggest advantage of ordering online is that they would be supplied to wherever required well on time. In fact the order for these cheap wedding flowers could be placed in advance too. These can be arranged for shipment for a later date. Thus, it is a good backup resource. Some online florists have their own green house and nursery. They are in a position to grow any type of flower required throughout the year. Even flowers which grow in cold or hot season can be grown taking help of green house. Online florist shops normally offer free shipping provided a certain amount is spent on purchase of flowers. It is advisable to have more than one alternative.

Though maximum expenses are incurred on flowers in a wedding but these are expendable and last only for a few days. Thus, it would be preferable to procure cheap wedding flowers from online florist. By buying cheap wedding flowers, you will be able to save money which can be used towards other expenses.

If you plan to purchase real flowers, they will have to be bought at exact time failing which they will start losing beauty and color. You could go for seasonal flowers as they would be available in large quantity and will cost much less. Make your wedding a beautiful event to remember not just for you but even for your friends, family and colleagues but go easy on the expense done on wedding flowers.

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