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By Ashwant Dwivedi

SUVA, Fiji (May 25, 1998 - Daily Post/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Fiji is continuing to lose many of its professionals, business managers and educated and skilled workers through emigration, the Daily Post reports.

According to a Bureau of Statistics report, in January and February this year Fiji lost 122 professional, technical and other skilled and experienced workers.

A Fiji Citizen Emigration report for January this year showed that a total of 86 professional, technical and skilled workers had emigrated overseas.

Seventy-nine Indo-Fijians were among those who emigrated overseas followed by six Fijians in the two-month period.

Many administrative, managerial sales and service workers have left the country, the report showed.

In the 10-year period, 1987-1997, more than 56,000 Fiji citizens have emigrated overseas.

The report said that alone in January this year 485 Fiji citizens emigrated overseas and of these 45 were Fijians and 417 were Indo-Fijians.

In February this year 280 people have emigrated overseas and of these 29 were Fijians and 239 were Indo-Fijians while 12 were exempted persons.

The number of people who emigrated in 1990 was 5,849 which was high compared to other years after the 1987 coup when the number was 5,394.

In 1988, 5,695 people emigrated overseas.

Last year 4,779 Fiji citizens emigrated while in 1996 5,190 left to settle abroad.

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry claims that many professional people -- mostly from the Indo-Fijian community --are forced to leave Fiji because of racial discrimination.

"They work hard but they are not being promoted for what they are doing," Mr. Chaudhry said.

Fiji Association Party spokesman Dr. Fereti Dewa claims that many people are emigrating overseas from Fiji because the economic conditions are getting worse.

"There is uncertainty in the country and that is why people have to go overseas," Dr. Dewa said.

He said that the delay in finding a solution to the land problems connected with ALTA is a central issue.

Title -- 1385 ECONOMY: Fiji brain drain continues Date -- 25 May 1998 Byline -- Ashwant Dwivedi Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- Daily Post (Fiji), 25/5/98 Status – Unabridged

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