14 Oct 2002

Grim prospects for Indo-Fijians drive continuinng emigration

6:04 pm on 14 October 2002

An academic in Fiji says there is a growing realisation that the prospects of Indo-Fijians finding employment, establishing business and accessing land, will be difficult.

Professor Vijay Naidu, the head of Development Studies at the Suva campus of the University of the South Pacific told the weekend's Goodwill Conference that the Government attitude to Indo-Fijians is shortsighted and lopsided.

He says around a hundred thousand had left Fiji since the coup in 1987, and 400 to 500 continue to leave each month.

Professor Naidu says these people are the qualified middle classes, and while the resultant shortages are obvious, the racist elements in Fiji society are saying good riddance.

"even though, you know there is actually direct impact on the quality of education, the quality of health services, the quality of you know public services generally you know people can see that happening but still, you know, there is that element of ethnic exclusivity which blinds people to what is happening to the country"