This situation has arisen as the Major Generals who were expecting to be appointed to the post of Chief of Staff and Deputy would either lose their opportunity or it would be delayed as Maj. Gen. Fernando has not retired.
According to the tradition maintained in the security forces over the years, it is only the Commanders who are given service extensions and other seniors have to retire after their term in the event they are not appointed to the post of Commander.
In recent history, the only other officer who was given a service extension although he did not hold the post of Commander was in 2009 when the Jaffna Commander G.A. Chandrasiri was granted a service extension. After his service extension, he served as the Chief of Staff of the Army.
The current Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senenayake is currently serving his second extension granted by the President and his extension is valid until August 18, 2019.
Due to the Army Commander being given his second service extension, several of the Major Generals had to retire during that period.