It is a long established tradition that the second in command in the army succeeds the commander when the letter retires from service. However, given the unusual situation where the post of the second in command in the army has already been vacant for some time, the bigwigs concerned are said to have short-listed four candidates for consideration by the appointing authority.
The short list is now lying on the desk of a very high political authority, they say.
While a study is being made at the official level with a view to selecting the most suitable candidate, a no holds barred battle over the chair due to fall vacant has broken out behind the scene, they say.
The battle has gone down to such an indecent level, that each hopeful is said to be unhesitatingly using every weapon in his armoury against his rivals and even irrelevant matters like extra-marital affairs, caste differences and upcountry and low country distinctions are also being shamelessly bandied about, they say.
Meanwhile, some highly concerned yahapalanaya high ups have warned the powers that be that given the backbiting and intrigues going on behind the scene, the government should lose no time in appointing permanent occupants to all vacant high chairs in the state services.