Directions (1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it Certain words/phrases are printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
When people buy diamond jewellery, they often want to convey love or commitment to someone dear and special. But this jewellery, if it contains diamonds from Sierra Leone and Angola diamond mine in West Africa, could have a bloody past signifying mistreatment and abuse. The movie, Blood Diamond, traces the path of a large pink diamond found in Sierra Leone in the 1990’s by a fisherman working as a slave in a rebel-controlled diamond mine. That diamond changed and ended many lives and the story of that stone carries a strong social message. The story design is an interesting fiction but it is based upon real life events. The movie sensitizes the audience on how a mineral resource can fuel oppression and the slaughter of thousands of people. This is not a first time phenomenon. It has happened before in Africa with ivory and gold.
What-Are ‘Conflict Diamonds’?
Blood Diamonds, also known as ‘Conflict Diamonds’ are stones that are produced in areas controlled by rebel forces namely the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) that are opposed to internationally recognized governments. The rebels sell these rough diamonds and the money is used to purchase arms or to fund their military actions. Blood Diamonds are often produced through the forced labour of men, women and children. They are also stolen during shipment or seized by attacking the mining operations of legitimate producers. These attacks can be on the scale of a large military operation. The stones are then smuggled into the international diamond trade and sold as legitimate gems. These diamonds are often the main source of funds for the rebels. Enormous amounts of money are at stake and bribes, threats, torture, and murder are modes of operation. The profits made from the sale of these diamonds are used to fund terrorism and civil war. This is why the term ‘blood diamonds’ is used.
In the aftermath of horrific abuses committed by West Africa rebel groups enriched by diamond wealth, an international body backed by the United Nations (the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme) was founded to ensure that traders and consumers could identify blood diamonds and prevent their trade.
The flow of ‘Conflict Diamonds’ has originated mainly from Sierra Leone, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Ivory Coast. The United Nations and other groups such as Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada are working to block the entry of conflict diamonds into the worldwide diamond trade. Their approach has been to develop a government certification procedure known as the ‘Kimberley Process’. This procedure requires each nation to certify that all rough diamonds exported are produced through legitimate mining and sales activity. Diamonds exported from these nations are to be accompanied by certificates. These certificates state that the diamonds were produced, sold and exported through legitimate channels. The certification process accounts for all rough diamonds, through every step of their movement, from mine to retail sale. Most consumers do not realize that they may be purchasing blood diamonds-even in 2010.
The Amnesty International survey found that 83 per cent of U.S. jewelers say their customers “rarely or never” inquire about the source of diamonds. Retail customers buying a cut diamonds. Retail customers buying a cut diamond are encouraged to insist upon a sales receipt document starting that their diamond originated from a conflict free source.
Nations who agree to participate in the Kimberley Process is believed to have significantly reduced the number of conflict Diamonds’ that are reaching the international gem markets. Today 1 governments and several non-government organizations and several non-government organizations abide by the Kimberley Process. The World Diamond Council estimates that 99 per cent of all diamonds are now conflict free.
However, despite implementation of the Kimberley Process, blood diamonds still exist and are entering the legitimate trade. Although the scheme makes it more difficult for diamonds from rebel-held areas to reach international markets, there are still significant weaknesses in the scheme that undermine its effectiveness. A United Nations Group of Experts has recently found that poor controls are allowing significant volumes of blood diamonds to enter the legitimate trade through Ghana, where they are being certified as conflict free. International trading centres need to introduce better systems for identifying suspicious shipments of rough diamonds. Many other diamond producing countries have weak government controls that cannot guarantee that the diamonds they export are conflict free.
Q1. What action have the U.N. and other international groups taken to block the entry of ‘Conflict Diamonds’ into the diamond trade?
A. They have introduced a certification procedure known as the ‘Kimberley Process’.
B. They are fighting against the rebel groups to obtain autonomy of the diamond mines.
C. They have stopped importing diamonds from West Africa.
(1) A and C
(2) B and C
(3) Only A
(4) Only B
(5) All A, B and C
Q2. What should be the role of the consumer in avoiding the purchase of ‘Conflict Diamonds’?
(1) Consumers should not buy diamonds from Africa.
(2) Consumers should refrain from wearing all diamond jewellery.
(3) Consumers should switch to other precious gems.
(4) Consumers need not worry as 99 per cent of the diamonds sold are conflict free.
(5) Consumers should always insist on the source of the diamonds.
Q3. Which of the following is not true of the ‘Kimberley Process’ as given in the passage?
(1) Certification of all rough diamond exports by legitimate mining and sales activity.
(2) To help consumers identify blood diamonds and prevent their trade.
(3) To campaign for the sale of ‘Conflict Diamonds’.
(4) To trade diamonds only with participant member nations.
(5) To increase the number of conflict free diamonds entering the word of diamond trade.
Q4. The movie ‘Blood Diamond’ is a reflection of ……..
(1) the lives of fishermen in Sierra Leone.
(2) diamonds that originated from mines under the control of rebel groups.
(3) a happy story of how diamonds have changed the lives of the poor.
(4) Both (2) and (3)
(5) Both (1) and (3)
Q5. What are some of the weaknesses of the Kimberley certification process as underlined by the author?
(1) Weak Government controls and suspicious shipment of rough diamonds.
(2) Lengthy procedures to be followed in order to acquire the certification.
(3) Ability to trade only with non-member nations.
(4) Both (1) and (2)
(5) Both (1) and (3)
Q6. Why are the diamonds that are mined in Sierra leone called ‘Blood Diamonds’?
(1) The diamond stones are smuggled into the international diamond trade.
(2) It is sold to finance terrorism and other violent acts including civil war.
(3) The rough diamonds are red in colour.
(4) The diamonds obtained from Sierra Leone signify freedom.
(5) Both (2) and (4)
Directions (7-8): Choose the word/group of words which is most similar in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
Q7. Abide by
(3) agree to
(4) bid on
(5) swear by
Directions (9-10): Choose the word/group of words which is most opposite in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
Answer & Explanation
1. (3); Only A
2. (5); Consumers should always insist on the source of the diamonds.
3. (3); To campaign for the sale of ‘Conflict Diamonds’.
4. (2); diamonds that originated from mines under the control of rebel groups.
5. (1); Weak Government controls and suspicious shipment of rough diamonds.
6. (2); It is sold to finance terrorism and other violent acts including civil war.
7. (3); Abide by means to accept and according to a law, an agreement etc. So, agree to is the word which is similar in meaning to it.
8. (2); Phenomenon means a fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen. So, event is the word which is similar in meaning to it.
9. (3); Legitimate means conforming to the law or to rules. So, unlawful is the word which is opposite in meaning to it.
10. (2); Fiction means a literary work based on the imagination. So, fact is the word which is opposite in meaning to it.