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Sri Lanka: New hangman quits over upset at first glimpse of the gallows


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Sri Lanka: New hangman quits over upset at first glimpse of the gallows

A newly-appointed hangman has quit just a week into his new role – after seeing the gallows for the first time.

It means Sri Lanka is recruiting yet again for the role. Last year two new hangmen both failed to show up for work.

But some may wonder what they are worried about – the island nation has not executed a man in nearly four decades.

Chandrarathna Pallegama, commissioner general of prisons, telling Reuters about the latest departure, said: “We gave him one week’s training, but he resigned after seeing the gallows, saying that he didn’t want the job.

“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.”

Although capital punishment was suspended in 1977, it remains on the statute books. And an alarming rise in child abuse, rapes, murders, and drug trafficking in the country since the 25-year war against Tamil Tiger separatists ended in 2009 has prompted some lawyers and politicians to push for the death penalty to be reintroduced.

In 2012 a government spokesman claimed “the public, cabinet and members of Parliament have reached a common belief that the death penalty should be implemented for child molesters and drug lords.”

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