Visitors since January 2005: 965365
Dear friends and companions

I’m writing these lines from the prison in Monaragala, were I have been locked up for 7 days now in the most – for Europeans – unimaginable conditions. I’m deeply worried about this great work I have realized here in Sri Lanka with the help of so many people. As is so often the case, it’s all about money, and in this case it means an unlimited contempt for mankind.

In spring a local Tamil minister wanted to extort 50,000 roof sheets from me with a total value of roughly 200,000 Euro – only 20,000 of them he wanted officially listed. The money should go directly to him. The rest of the roof sheets were supposed to be used effectively in the media for the electoral campaign of his uncle. Especially the minister who is the responsible person for children in the province of UVA made it quite clear to me, that he is able and willing to destroy me and all of my projects if I would not cooperate. I refused and then he said: “First I take away your land, then I order to rape your children and then it’s your turn!” He has nothing against me personally, he adds, that’s simply business.

I reported this to the police in Bandarawella and after that to the German Embassy in Colombo. This was about six months ago.

On Tuesday, the 17th of August I left early in the morning for Kalmunai. Accompanied by my son Manuel, a Tamil girl, who wanted to meet friends in our girls house at Palugamam and Bawani, one of our child-minders, whose daughter we wanted to take home for the vacation period. The main reason, however, was a planning discussion in the Carmelite convent in Kalmunai. We are building an international school there. After the meeting and our visit to the girls houses near Palugamam, when we were on our way back to the children’s village, we were stopped shortly before Monaragala by about 30 heavily armed members of a special task force. After a 30-minutes search they found – allegedly under the mud flap – a small package with drugs, so they immediately announced. I knew right away that this all was the work of the minister from Badulla. It was the same special task force that had protected him for a long time.

We were forced to drive to the next police station, where we were separately interrogated the whole night. Bawani, a Tamil woman in this merely Singhalese area was full of fear, and she was threatened to be locked away the next 25 years if she would not testify against me. I couldn’t see my son Manuel for almost 6 hours and they asked me to confess because otherwise my son would face death penalty. Later he told me that he was locked in a dark hole without any information, and whenever he asked to call the embassy he was attacked and threatened.

The next day we were taken to Court. While the others were released – Thanks God – I was sent to jail. In this same night the same task force invaded the children’s village threatening our young child-minders with torture (“…we skin you alive”), entered into the main building with the keys they had taken from me at the police station and took away whatever they liked. They searched the other houses too. From the prison I can’t tell what they have taken. Or did they also hide drugs there in order to have something they can find at later searches?

The children and child-minders are full of fear and write heartbreaking letters: “Dear father, please come home!” Asha for example, she has been living here for 10 years now and helps to take care for the younger sisters. She wrote the following letter to her „Lokuththa – big father“:
It cannot be permitted, that criminal elements destroy the home and future of so many children. It cannot be permitted, that after the horror of war corrupt politicians and special task forces, which are above the law, take away from Sri Lankan people the hope for a real new beginning.

I place all my hope now in the Sri Lankan president.
Please send/fax a polite petition in English to the president Mahinde Rajapakse.

President Mahinda Rajapakse
President of Sri Lanka
„Temple Trees“
Colombo 3
(Staatspräsident - korrekte Anrede: Dear President)
Telefax: (00 94) 112-446 657, (00 94) 112-472 100

and ask him for the protection of the children’s village and the other social projects of Little Smile.

I’ve never asked for help, but now I’m forced to! I need you, the children need you, Little Smile needs you, a better Sri Lanka needs you.

Your Michael Kreitmeir
Prisoner’s number 2106, prison Monaragala Sri Lanka
In the evening of August 25 Michael Kreitmeir was suddenly released. His passport, however, still confiscated and he is not allowed to leave the country. On Monday, August 30 the first hearing starts. The picture shows him exhausted but happy at his arrival at the children’s village.