Sri Lanka begins recruiting "moral" executioners

Sri Lankan prisoners observe Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations in penitentiary complex in Colombo on April 24, 2013Copyright of the image
AFP

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Inmates in Colombo Prison – Nearly 1,300 prisoners are under sentence of death in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has begun to search for two "high moral" executioners in the crackdown on drug trafficking.

The work, reported in the Daily News daily, reports 36,310 rupees ($ 158, $ 203) per month.

The death penalty is legal in Sri Lanka, but no executions have taken place since 1976.

The country is struggling to find a permanent hangman after the resignation of its last executioner five years ago.

The dedicated role is open to any Sri Lankan man between the ages of 18 and 45 who has a "mental strength".

The last executioner resigned in 2014 after seeing the gallows for the first time and entering into shock. Another was hired last year but never showed up for work.

Sri Lanka currently has about 1,300 death row inmates, 48 ​​of them for drug-related offenses.

The constitution of the country recognizes the freedom of individuals to exercise "any occupation, profession, trade, professional activity or lawful enterprise".

Since 2004, rape, drug trafficking and murder have been considered capital crimes, but the sentences only concern life imprisonment.

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Sri Lanka is struggling to find a hangman since the resignation of one of his recruits in 2014, in shock after being exposed to the gallows for the first time.

On February 7, President Maithripala Sirisena told Parliament that he would allow the death penalty "in the next two months" for people incarcerated for drug trafficking.

During his visit to the Philippines in January, President Sirisena congratulated President Rodrigo Duterte on his campaign against drugs, calling him "an example for the world".

According to the Philippine police, more than 5,000 traffickers or drug users have been killed since Duterte launched his counter-narcotics campaign in 2016.

In July 2018, President Sirisena announced the resumption of hangings for drug-addicted offenders, citing an increase in arrests for drug-related offenses in the country.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe criticized the decision.

According to the National Council for the Control of Dangerous Drugs (NDDCB), drug arrests have steadily increased since 2013.

Cannabis and heroin are the most widely abused drugs in Sri Lanka, and the authorities have expressed concern that the island nation could become an important transit point for traffickers in Asia.

Police have arrested more than 50 people for drug trafficking since the middle of last year.