Colombo: Sri Lanka’s department of prisons Monday said that applications have been sought to recruit two hangmen, days after President Maithripala Sirisena vowed to end a 42-year moratorium on death penalty within two months.
Prisons Commissioner PNM Dhanasinghe said that notice has been issued and the applications will be accepted from Monday.
Sri Lanka’s last hanging took place June 1976. Since then successive presidents have refused to sign death warrants to hang convicts.
Sirisena last week said that execution of drug convicts is a necessity in view of the fast spreading drug menace in the island nation.
“I will implement the death penalty during the next 2-3 months,” he said while addressing the parliament.
Sirisena took the decision despite Sri Lanka becoming party to a UN moratorium on death penalty in 2016.
Dhanasinghe said the new positions were announced as previously recruited hangmen had left the job.
While Lanka’s last execution was in 1976, an executioner was in post until his retirement in 2014. Three replacements since have quit after short stints.
Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale recently said that her ministry had forwarded details of the drug convicts to Sirisena’s office last September.
She said there were 48 drug convicts on death row currently while 30 of them had appealed against sentencing and 18 of them could be hanged if the president so wished.