Army watcher says Burma navy can't compete with Bangladesh's

Nov 13, 2008 (DVB)-A Burmese military analyst said Burma’s navy could not compete with Bangladesh’s if the two countries come to blow over ongoing maritime boundary dispute in the Gulf of Bengal.

U Htay Aung from research and documentation department of Thailand-based Network for Democracy and Development said the Burmese Navy’s weaponry and tactical skills are no match for those of Bangladesh.

"The Burmese government only has a few warships bought from China that break down often even during military exercises," said U Htay Aung.

"Many Burmese naval ships in Heingyi Island base were also destroyed by Cyclone Nargis," he said.

"That can also be one of the reasons why the Burmese decided to back off in the sea."

The forces of Bangladesh and Burma have gathered in striking distance at sea and land in areas between the two countries in a warlike situation amid growing tension over a disputed stretch of sea.

Ko Kyaw Myint, a leader of All Arakan Students and Youths Congress, an activist group based in Bangladesh confirmed that both sides had stepped up security in the border areas.

"[The Burmese authorities] are not allowing any water vehicle, including rice and other trade cargos, enter their territory from Bangladesh," said Ko Kyaw Mynt.

Reporting by Khin Maung Soe Min

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