Chagos Islanders Still in Limbo

‘What in the World?’ is an Irish series of tv documentaries presented and produced by Peadar King. (See also http://kmfproductions.net) In this episode, Peadar King travels to Mauritius to meet the original inhabitants of the Chagos Islands (Indian Ocean). The Chagos Islanders were secretly and brutally expelled from their homeland by British governments in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to make way for an American military base on the main island of Diego Garcia. For more information and updates on the plight of the Chagossians, please visit the website of the UK Chagos Support Association at http://www.chagossupport.org.uk.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION – GO TO http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/let-the-chagos-islanders-return-home.html

I first posted the following poem in May 2009. I hope you don’t mind a second read.

Rounding Up The Dogs of the Children Who Died of Sadness

Monsters came one day, dressed
in stiff uniforms. They were fed
largely on red meat and so had grown
like giants compared to the islanders.

They scarred the land as they drove,
engines growling like hungry beasts,
churning sand and dust into the terrified
eyes of the children. Those little

Brown arms grew powerless at the sight
of fists clutching the collars of their pets.
Never before had they seen such dark
nightmares. The monsters had come

To gather all the dogs of the island.
They were taken amid screams and cries,
hearts cracking like husked coconuts
flung against jagged rocks.

-o-

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About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. In 2011 the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila released BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (poems in Filipino) and ALIEN TO ANY SKIN (poems in English). The same publisher released his most recent poetry collections SOUND BEFORE WATER and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. In 2015 a new poetry collection in English, A THOUSAND EYES was released. His first collection of short stories in Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA, was released in 2016. UK publisher The Onslaught Press launches his latest poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. View all posts by matangmanok

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