Sri Lanka recruiting 2 hangmen before resuming death penalty

Sri Lankan prison authorities are recruiting two hangmen after the president pledged to end a 43-year moratorium on capital punishment and execute condemned drug traffickers amid alarm over drug-related crime.

Prison department spokesman Thushara Upuldeniya said Wednesday two executioners will be hired and advertisements to recruit them appeared in the newspapers on Monday.

The interviews will be conducted next month. President Maithripala Sirisena has said the executions will resume in the next two months.

Sri Lanka last executed a prisoner in 1976.

Sirisena's announcement of ending the moratorium came after he visited the Philippines in January and praised President Rodrigo Duterte's drug crackdown as "an example to the world."

Sri Lanka has 1,299 prisoners facing death sentences, including 48 convicted of drug offenses.