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Sri Lanka can’t fill hangman job

Reuters

Sri Lanka is searching for a new hangman after the latest recruit got upset on seeing the gallows for the first time and quit, officials said.

The Prisons Department appointed the new hangman, the third most qualified from 176 applicants, last week, months after two hangmen chosen late last year failed to show up for work.

“We gave him one week’s training, but he resigned after seeing the gallows, saying that he didn’t want the job,” said Chandrarathna Pallegama, commissioner general of prisons. “He told me that after seeing the gallows he got upset. . . . Next time, we will show the gallows to the new recruits before giving them basic training.”

The Indian Ocean island nation, a predominantly Buddhist country, has not carried out an execution since 1976, despite the fact that there are at least 405 convicts on death row.