His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the Minister of Public Security, Law and Order presented a cabinet paper with regard to the establishment of the Department of Sri Lanka Coast Guard and the Cabinet of Ministers approved the cabinet paper paving the way to establish Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) on 07th March 2007.

Coast Guard Act No. 41 of 2009 was enacted by the Parliament on 09th July 2009 to incorporate the Department of Coast Guard. Its operational activities were ceremonially inaugurated on 4th March 2010. His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.

Sri Lanka Coast Guard functions under the Ministry of Defence. It is a law enforcement agency at sea. Every Coast Guard officer of the Department of Coast Guard shall be deemed to be a peace officer within the meaning for the purposes of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979. SLCG has been empowered with legal authority to search and arrest ships, craft and personnel engaged in illegal activities in maritime zones of Sri Lanka and constitute legal proceedings against the offenders.

The emblem features a gold lion passant,holding a sword in its right fore paw (the same lion from the emblem of Sri Lanka) in the center on a blue background surrounded by a yellow coloured life belt fixed in a silver anchor. Gold lion represent the braveness and the blue colour signifies the serene sea. The life belt reflects the Coast Guard’s primary role of ensuring safety of lives. The silver colour anchor represents maritime interest.