Companion to East Timor - The Visit of US Ambassador John Monjo

The Visit of US Ambassador John Monjo

On 17 January 1990, US Ambassador to Indonesia John Monjo visited East Timor. There was another pro-independence demonstration, this time outside his residence at the Hotel Turismo. The demonstrators asked him to come out and meet them. He did so, speaking to them briefly with the assistance of a megaphone. He then left for his meeting with governor Mario Carrascalao. According to an eyewitness, 'the demonstrators pleaded for him not to leave as once gone, they would be attacked.' And so it was: the peaceful demonstration 'was violently broken up by army and police in full riot protection gear… two badly beaten boys, apparently lifeless, [were] thrown into a military truck. The International Red Cross Headquarters next door… were invaded by troops in pursuit of demonstrators seeking to escape military brutality, in breach of the ICRC's inviolability.' Yet the episode made it clear that the youth in East Timor were becoming bolder and more desperate.