Like its neighbor to the north, Sri Lanka has a large population of death row inmates – Reuters recently put it at more than 480. But official executions in Sri Lanka are even more rare than in India: The state has not put a criminal to death since 1976.
Extrajudicial executions, however, were not uncommon during the government’s war with the Tamil Tigers that ran from 1983 to 2009.
The lack of official executions is particularly noteworthy because Sri Lanka effectively reinstated capital punishment for rape, drug trafficking, and murder in 2004, but still has yet to use it. That may change soon, however. On Tuesday, the government began interviews to fill its two vacant executioner positions.