The "Jabeda" ; 11 February, 2024

Soman Ragavan

Posted on 11 February, 2024




  • Around 1991, the English seized the Mauritian fishing vessel “Jabeda” in Mauritian waters at Diego Garcia and fined the captain for “illegal” fishing in “English” waters. Might is right. This vessel was scuttled off the northern coast of Mauritius on 12 December, 1996 to provide a habitat for marine life….. The ship was sunk, but the memory shall NEVER be got rid of ! Please see : “Le Jabeda coulé le 12 décembre (1996),” “WEEK-END” newspaper, Mauritius, 22 December, 1996, (page 23).


(2)        On this poem the following may be referred to :  “Mobilisation des épouses de pêcheurs sur les bancs.” “Le MAURICIEN” newspaper, Mauritius, 14 December, 1999, (page 6).







Thou were stopp'd, thou were fined :

After thee have we so much pined;

Thou sail'd the seas, thou fend'd the waves :

Now repos'st thou in the deep, silent caves.


Jabeda, wherefrom came thy name, it matters not :

For them lot, from the cold depths be thou hot ;

Even from the watery caves near the rock

Full well shalt the world of thee take stock.


Thou bait'd the fish, thou nett'd the fish :

Atop the waves thou bounc'd and danc'd :

Across our waters for long thou pranc'd :

Now for the occupiers be thou a bitter dish.


Even if under the waves thy entrails rust and melt,

From far off thy thundering memory shalt be felt;

“JABEDA” they call'd thee : immortal be thy name :

Immortalis'd by the poet, thou rul’st in lasting fame.


The offshore species, so well protect'd yonder,

The migratory stock, so dear to the Commission,

All shalt converge into thy entrails for dinner :

We watch many faces turn rather vermilion ....


The currents shalt fan out from thy ruins,

To remind the grabbers of their sins ;

Inside thee the tasty fish shalt get fatten'd :

'Pon the looters’ plates then to be loosen'd.


The looters robb'd us of our lands, of our waters :

They kidnapp'd our poor brothers and sisters :

But, the fish, the ruins, to them shalt be reminders

That they shalt face everywhere the islanders.


*  *  *


  • Author: Soman Ragavan (Pseudonym) (Offline Offline)
  • Published: February 11th, 2024 03:34
  • Category: Unclassified
  • Views: 2
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  • sorenbarrett

    I have always enjoyed poems that tell a story and this is one rich in history as well as imagery. It is well painted in words and captures not only the interest but mind of the reader moving on to the ethical issues of colonization and territoriality. Very well written in captivating verse.

  • Soman Ragavan

    Thank you very much. Soman Ragavan.

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