The country named the best place to visit in 2019 has taken out newspaper adverts to recruit executioners after reinstating the death penalty

LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty ImagesSri Lankan military personnel.
  • Sri Lanka’s government is advertising for executioners in a national newspaper after reinstating the death penalty.
  • It called for men with “excellent moral character” and “very good mind and mental strength.”
  • The job will pay 36,310 Sri Lankan rupees ($US203.99) per month.
  • Sri Lanka’s president declared the return of capital punishment last month after a 43-year ban.
  • The news comes in stark contrast to Sri Lanka’s reputation as a tourist haven.

Sri Lanka, the country named the best place for tourists to visit in 2019, is advertising for executioners in a national newspaper after reinstating the death penalty.

The ad, issued by the the country’s commissioner general of prisons, and run in the state-run Daily News, called on Sri Lankan men aged between 18 and 45 with “excellent moral character” and “very good mind and mental strength” to apply for the job.

It is unclear if the ad was carried by multiple newspapers.

The government is currently looking for two hangmen, Reuters reported, citing Thushara Upuldeniya, a spokesman for the prison service. Job interviews start next month, Upuldeniya said.

The job will pay 36,310 Sri Lankan rupees ($US203.99) per month, which is higher than the average monthly pay for a standard government job, Reuters reported.

Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International’s South Asia director, tweeted a photo of the listing and said: “This is one job that should never have been put out.”

Sri Lanka’s president, Maithripala Sirisena, declared an end to a 43-year ban on the death penalty last month. The last time Sri Lanka carried out an execution was in 1976. That prisoner was hanged.

The country still continued to employ executioners after that, but the last hangman quit in 2014 without ever having to execute anyone and citing stress after seeing the gallows for the first time, according to Reuters.

While the country still sentences people convicted of murder, rape, and drug trafficking to death, their sentences have been commuted to life imprisonment, CNN reported.

Sri Lanka currently has 1,299 prisoners facing death sentences,The Associated Press reported.

Sirisena said last week that the country would start implementing the death penalty for people convicted of drug trafficking, local news site ColomboPage reported. It’s not clear when it will start executing people and how many prisoners will be punished.

He also told human rights activists not to stand against his decision, claiming that the capital punishment can help the government maintain an orderly society, according to ColomboPage.

The decision to reinstate capital punishment came amid concerns that Sri Lanka could become a hub for the narcotics trade in Asia, unnamed government officals told Reuters.

The officials also said that the reinstatement of the death penalty was influenced by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s hardline stance against drug use and trafficking, unnamed government officials told Reuters.

Duterte’s war on drugs has seen some 20,000 people killed since he took office in 2016, rights groups say.

The job ad and reinstatement of the death penalty comes in stark contrast to Sri Lanka’s reputation as a tourist haven. Lonely Planet named it the world’s best place to visit in 2019.

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