Monthly Archives: October 2011

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Trade Union Officials and 17 Workers Arrested in Timor-Leste

12 October 2011

On Tuesday 11 October at 08am, the General Secretary and the National
Organizer of General Workers’ Union including 17 workers were arrested
by police while preparing for a peaceful protest in the office of
Ministry of Justice.

The protest was being staged in support of the demand of 19 workers
that been dismissed unfairly by the Justice Ministry. These two union
officials, the Secretary General Mr. Almério Vila Nova and the
National Organizer Mrs. Henita Casimira of the General Workers’ Union
(SJT-TL) and the 17 workers are now still in the cell of Police in

The workers were engaged in the preparation of protest were dismissed
from the Turismo Hotel because of the unfair decision of the Justice
Ministry towards their management in closing the business.

The dismissed workers are all members of the General Workers’ Union
who had been active in attempts to negotiate with the employer and the
government regarding the compensation and the continuation of their
employment with the new management.

Timor-Leste’s union believes that the motivation of the arrest is to
protect the government member (Justice Minister Mrs. Lucia Lobato) and
to intimidate workers to not speak up their right and to not protest
the government members.

The president of Peak Union Body in Timor-Leste/KSTL, Mr. José da
Conceição da Costa said that this is abuse of power of the government
member. “She wants to take advantage (benefits) of the business that
is why she decides to kick out the current management and give the
contract to other business man so she can be benefited from the
business”. This is unfair decision in the Democratic Country like
Timor-Leste and it is caused many workers lose their jobs. The
minister only thinking for herself and ignore the people who she
supposed to served.

After tripartite negotiations with the employer and the Justice
Minister in last year, the minister agreed to settle this matter in a
very short time, but until today there is no realization yet.

Formal protests are being lodged by the union with the Government of
Timor-Leste and the parliament over the intervention of the police and
the attitude of the minister in causing dismissal of the workers, and
urge the National Police to immediately release the union officials
and the workers.

KSTL calls upon the government and the parliament to take serious
actions to settle this matter as quickly as possible.

Contact Details:

José da Conceição da Costa (ZITO)



+ 670 723 9824



FRETILIN.Media Flash

Dili, 3 October 2011 (20:50 hrs)

Issue: CPD-RDTL Demonstration in Dili/Use of FRETILIN flags not authorized by FRETILIN

As of this afternoon a number of trucks commenced arriving in Dili from the districts, as the commencement of a “peaceful demonstration” organized by CPD-RDTL. Authorities were apparently notified, but FRETILIN, as with many others, only found out about the planned demonstration earlier this afternoon.

It appears that some of the demonstrators on the trucks were carrying and displaying FRETILIN flags.

FRETILIN wants to make it clear that it has nothing whatsoever to do with this demonstration, and the use of the FRETILIN flags are not authorized by FRETILIN. The organization in question has persistently continued to use the FRETILIN flag for some time.

Upon being informed that a number of persons on a number of these trucks were carrying and displaying FRETILIN flags, the FRETILIN leadership immediately requested the PNTL, and the PNTL agreed to act to prevent this from continuing. We are informed that action has already been taken by PNTL in this regard.

The FRETILIN flag is a historic symbol, but also according to the legislation in place, the exclusive and legally protected symbol of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent Timor-Leste (FRETILIN) as a “political party”.

It is unfortunate that this has occurred.

For further information please contact Jose Teixeira on +670 728 7080