The Foreign Service Journal - October 2014 - page 41

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
OCTOBER 2014
41
FEATURE
For 24 hours,
the most heavily
fortified building
in Colombo was
compromised
by a monkey.
BY CHR I STOPHER TEAL
FLYINGMONKEYS
IN THE EMBASSY
Christopher Teal is an FSO and a former member of the FSJ Editorial Board. Aside fromColombo, he has
served in mostly monkey-free environments, including Santo Domingo, Lima, Guadalajara andWashing-
ton, D.C. He is now consul general in Nogales, Mexico. He is the author of
Hero of Hispaniola: America’s
First Black Diplomat, Ebenezer D. Bassett
(Praeger, 2008).
T
he embassy was on the verge of being overrun. Sri Lanka had not seen activity
like this since the Tamil Tigers were defeated a few years back. Everyone had
hoped for a return to normalcy, but now this.
e details were sketchy, as they always are in the fog of war. All that anyone
knew was that an intruder had entered the chancery. At rst it wasn’t clear if
it was just one, or there were many.
e Marine Security Guards were on high
alert. General Services and Regional Security O ces set up a rapid-reaction
task force to poke through closets and rip out ceiling tiles to nd a trail and look for clues.
Should everyone be evacuated? RSO rapidly banged out an embassywide warning message:
“Ground Floor Locked Down—Please Exit/Enter thru Post 2.”
As the brave GSO and RSO team continued their search and peered into the darkness of the
ground oor ceiling, a closet door behind them swung open. Out the intruder casually strolled, not
one bit surprised to see a teamof men standing at the base of a ladder in the hallway.
ey turned
Christopher Teal
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