3 Feb 2005

India names descendant of semi-slaves as diplomat in Fiji

8:10 am on 3 February 2005

India has named a descendant of one of the early Indian indentured labourers in Fiji as its new high commissioner in Suva.

Ajay Singh's great grandparents came to Fiji as labourers in 1885 but unlike most Indians, they returned to India 20 years later.

Ajay Singh's father, Bhagwan Singh, served as the Indian high commissioner in Fiji between 1971 and 1976.

Ajay Singh also lived in Suva at that time, worked as a journalist at the Fiji Times and married a Fiji Indian woman.

He was minister of state for railways in the Indian government in 1989 and 1990.

Mr Singh says he's looking forward to returning to Fiji because of his many links to the country and will take up his new posting in the middle of this month.