CHINESE COMMUNITY IN FIJI UPSET BY CONSTANT CRITICISM

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (May 31, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Fiji’s growing Chinese community has attempted to publicly answer constant criticism of its people.

As Radio Australia correspondent Ofa Kaukimoce reports, the Chinese Association of Fiji says the actions of a few are tarnishing the image of the entire Chinese community.

"The Chinese community in the country has long been regarded as hardworking and trouble free, whose members maintain very private lives.

"But in recent years the influx of new Chinese immigrants into Fiji has brought with it a fair share of adverse publicity.

"There are regular reports of a Chinese mafia ring operating out of Fiji. There are also reports of public street fights between local youths and Chinese men. There are also reports that Chinese women are working as sex workers.

"These public images of the Chinese community have angered the association, whose president and influential businessman Lionel Lee says is creating problems for his people.

"Mr. Lee has appealed to the Fiji community not to victimize the Chinese community and instead hunt out the perpetrators of these wrongdoings and deal with the problem.

"Ofa Kaukimoce, Radio Australia, Suva."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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