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," Chandrarathna
Pallegama, commissioner general of prisons, told Reuters.
"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."
But it's not as if he would have been likely to hang anyone
anyway. The job is light administrative work only.
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.
But 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.
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; writing by Shihar Aneez;
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