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Sri Lanka Is On The Hunt For 'Moral' Hangmen

If you're a man aged 18 to 45 with "strong moral character" and "mental strength" the Sri Lankan prison system might have a job for you.

The country is searching for two permanent hangmen as the president pushes ahead with a crackdown on drug smuggling.

The job has been advertised in the state-run Daily Newspaper and is offering up to 36,310 rupees a month -- $AU287.

A man reads an advertisement of a vacancy for executioners in a newspaper in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Feb. 12. (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)

Executioners haven't had much work to do recently, the death penalty hasn't been carried out in Sri Lanka since 1976, that's despite more than 1,000 prisoners being on death row.

But the country is still struggling to find a permanent executioner.

Its last hangman resigned in 2014 -- he went into shock after seeing the gallows for the first time, while his replacement -- hired last year -- never actually turned up for work.

Sri Lankan police prepare to destroy cocaine in Katunayake on January 15, 2018 IMAGE: LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty

The hunt for a full-time executioner ramped up after President Maithripala Sirisena declared that he wanted to resume the use of capital punishment for drug traffickers in the next two months.

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"We never know if the Government will resume the death penalty, but we want to hire two hangmen to fill vacancies and be ready if the Government wants to execute drug traffickers," prison service spokesman Thushara Upuldeniya told Reuters.

It's understood job interviews will be conducted next month in preparation for dozens of potential executions.