Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Help Wanted: Hangman in Sri Lanka

March 13, 2014 update: Commissioner General of Prisons Chandrarathna Pallegama announced that two Australians have applied for the position of Hangman, but that Sri Lanka has no provision for hiring foreigners, at least not for that position, ”One is a system administrator and the other had not mentioned the job he is doing. We have not called the applications, moreover we do not have any provisions to recruit foreigners.” So it looks like the position of Hangman of Sri Lanka remains open.


The prisons department of Sri Lanka is seeking a dynamic individual to fill the position of Hangman. It seems that out of 176 applicants for the position last year, the top-two, who were hired, just stopped showing up for work, and the last guy took one look at the gallows and got so upset he quit.

Of that guy, Commissioner General of Prisons Chandrarathna Pallegama told Reuters, “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.”

According to Pallegama, these days the job involves only light administrative work, since the predominantly Buddhist island nation hasn’t executed anyone on death row in nearly 40 years. The death penalty was reintroduced in 2004, however, and the acting Hangman could theoretically be called upon to perform an execution, though public opinion is still very set against it.

For those concerned that Hangman is a dead-end job, of the last two men to hold the position, one retired and the other was promoted.

The position remains open to males only. Only serious applicants need apply.

Wanted: Hangman in Sri Lanka

The prisons department of Sri Lanka is seeking a dynamic individual to fill the position of Hangman. It seems that out of 176 applicants for the position last year, the top-two, who were hired, just stopped showing up for work, and the last guy took one look at the gallows and got so upset he quit.

Of that guy, commissioner general of prisons Chandrarathna Pallegama told Reuter’s “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.”

According to Pallegama, these days the job involves only light administrative work, since the predominantly Buddhist country hasn’t executed anyone on death row in nearly 40 years. The death penalty was reintroduced in 2004, however, and the acting Hangman could theoretically be called upon to perform an execution, though public opinion is still very set against it.

The position remains open.

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