Myanmar Military Chief Visits Thai Military’s Major Shipbuilding Supplier

By Nan Lwin 18 November 2019

YANGON—Myanmar’s military chief made a visit to a Thai shipbuilding company on Sunday that has manufactured vessels for the Thai army, navy and police.

Military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing is currently in Bangkok to attend the Defense & Security 2019 conference and ASEAN Defense Minister’s Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus). According to a statement from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services, the senior general visited Marsun Public Company Limited to observe shipbuilding. He was accompanied by Myanmar Military Attaché (Army, Navy and Air) Brigadier General Khin Zaw and other officials.

The office said Myanmar officials observed the engineering department, shipbuilding sites, the headquarters of the company and shipyards.

According to the official website, Marsun has produced over 309 vessels ranging from passenger ferries, motor yachts, fast patrol boats, and research vessels, to landing craft, oil-spill recovery vessels and multi-purpose craft. The company also provides design, construction and repair services for international customers.

According to the company’s ordering records, the firm has built 24 landing craft for the Royal Thai Army and a total of 64 vessels for the Royal Thai Navy including landing craft, oil tankers, patrol craft and personnel landing vehicles.

Thailand is the country Sen-Gen Min Aung Hlaing has visited most often as military chief—more than 11 times since 2011.

The Myanmar military chief has received two of Thailand’s highest honors: in 2013, he was awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Thailand “for promoting friendship between the two armed forces of Myanmar and Thailand,” the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar reported at the time. Early this year, Thailand awarded him the Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant in Bangkok “to show the long and close relations” between the two countries, according to a statement by the Royal Thai Armed Forces.

In May, the senior general paid his last respects to General Prem Tinsulanonda, the former Thai army chief and close adviser to Thailand’s revered royals, whom the senior general regarded as his “adopted father.”