Subject: Local Media Monitoring - May 2, 2003


Dili, 02 May 2003

Daily Media Review

Workers Are Not Slaves of Work : Demonstration in Dili (STL, TP)

During a celebration of World Labor Day in Dili, the President of the Confederation of Unions of Timor-Leste (KSTL), Jose da Costa, said that the Timorese workers are treated "as slaves of work", but are being paid unequally. He further reminded the Government to pay attention to the conditions of work of people employed by private companies and demanded the creation of labor regulations in the country. He also criticized the Government for bringing workers from abroad while so many young Timorese are jobless. Responding to the critics, a staff of Labor Department, Manuel Noronha, underlined the responsibility of unions in the creation of regulations for the sector. (STL)



1. Hundreds of labor activists yesterday staged a long march from Democracy Park (Campo da Democracia) to the Government Palace, finishing at Borja da Costa Park in Farol. STL reported that hundreds of workers gathered in the Democracy Park to listen to Joe da Conceicao da Costa, President of a Non Government Organization (KSTL). Mr. da Costa said that they are very concerned about the plight of workers in East Timor. Mr Joe da Costa said " Timor-Leste's workers have been considered slave workers with a minimum wage for increasing work hours."

2. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri urged Australia to open negotiations over maritime borders with Timor-Leste. He stressed that the recent Timor Sea Treaty signed with Canberra that came into force on April 2, was only a temporary accord and did not represent a maritime border agreement. In a press release yesterday, the Prime Minister said: " At time when members of the United Nations Security Council are preparing to engage in the defense of the territorial integrity of post-war in Iraq, Australians may want to remember that there are still things to resolve in Timor-Leste."

3. This month President Xanana Gusmao has won two peace prizes. The Vatican's "Road to Peace Prize" will be awarded on June 13, 2003 and the UNESCO Peace Prize on June 10, 2003. STL interviewed various leaders for comment, including the Dean of the faculty of Politics and Social Sciences, Mr Valentim Ximenes and the senior researcher from the East Timor Study Group (Dili-based think tank), Mr Francisco da Costa Guterres. Both agreed Xanana Gusmao was a deserving winner of both prizes.


1. In response to community criticism about the appointment of the District and Sub-District Administrators during the "Open Government" visit to the District of Same, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said that the District and Sub-District Administrators were appointed in accordance with the administrative selection criteria and their professional qualifications. The Prime Minnister said he wanted to reiterate that public servants need to serve the people, regardless of party affiliations. He was speaking in the Sub-district of Turiscai.

2. In a very confusing story, Timor Post quotes Lucia Lobato from PSD as saying that the ruling party should recognise Francisco Xavier do Amaral (the first President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste) as the Proclaimer. Mrs Lobato said that now that the ruling party had restored Independence Day, they should also restore the Proclaimer because the Proclaimer was part of the restoration of Independence on November 28, 1975.

3. Speaking to Timor Post, Mr Jose de Conceicao da Costa, the President of Timor- Leste Workers Syndicate, said that: "May Day" was celebrated throughout the world to recall the historic day were hundreds of workers died in a workers versus security clash in 1886 in Chicago city.

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