In March this year, Myanmar’s Defence Ministry submitted a proposal to parliament to establish a national coastguard. Given strong support for the idea from the main political parties, the armed forces, and the public, it is expected that the necessary legislation will be passed without undue delay.

Myanmar is one of the few countries in the wider Asian region that does not already have a coastguard or similar force. Responsibility for maritime security is currently shared between the Myanmar Navy and the Maritime Police, a part of the Myanmar Police Force. However, they cannot meet all the demands being made upon them, nor can they provide the operational and diplomatic benefits of a paramilitary coastguard.

The new force’s remit would be to help safeguard Myanmar’s 1930-km coastline and 23,070-km2 territorial waters, which include about 1000 islands.

Please click here to read the full “With new coastguard, Myanmar looks to improve maritime security” article published at The Interpreter, written by Griffith Asia Institute Adjunct Professor Andrew Selth.