Paulina Quintao – The Alola Foundation (FA) is urging the Timorese government to create regulation that will protect the originality of the Tais (traditional cloth) of Timor, including motifs used least it disappear.
FA's Executive Director Reis said currently fake tais from other countries copying traditional motifs of Timor dominate markets in the country.
She said the state is obliged to protect the motifs and the original colours of the Timor Timor as it represents the identity of Timor around the world.
"In Timor we don't yet have copyright laws so products from other countries come in and we cannot protect our original colours," said Director Reis at her FA's office in Mascarenhas, Dili.
She added that FA provides training for women's groups to keep weaving traditional tais and promote the use of original Timor colours by using local leaves and bark because the original colours of Timor are disappearing.
Meanwhile the Secretary of State for cooperatives and industry (SEKI) Filipus Nino Pereira acknowledged the issue and added this is happening because Timor-Leste still does not have a legal basis to protect the original Tais of Timor.
"Yes, the regulation is the government's responsibility. In particular secretary of state for culture and the ministry of commerce, industry and environment must address this issue in future to project the motifs and the original colours the the Timor tais," said Pereira.