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Position of hangman vacant… again

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On the paper, the job may not seem like a top choice for many.

But when Sri Lanka began interviews for the position of executioner in 2012, the process drew 176 applicants, Reuters reported.

However, the man picked for the job last week resigned when he was brought to see the gallows for the first time.

“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.”

This isn’t the first time Sri Lanka struggled to find someone to fill the role; the two previous hangmen hired last year failed to show up to work.

But those executioners may be jumping the gun by resigning. The job is reportedly mostly administrative and Sri Lanka hasn’t executed anyone since 1976, despite having more that 400 convicts on death row.

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Sabrina Zolkifi
Deputy editor
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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