Southeast Asia Current Affairs - 2019

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Namaste Thailand film festival concludes in New Delhi

Namaste Thailand Film Festival, a two day event was held in Delhi from 15 June to 16 June 2019. This year was the 3rd edition of Thai film extravaganza event that celebrates Thai Culture’s Diversity.

Key Highlights

Objective: The Namaste Thailand film festival is an annual festival that is held with the aim of celebrating uniqueness and diversity of Thai culture. It also seeks to continue the endeavour of bridging the gap between cultures of India and Thailand.

Organiser: It was organised by Royal Thai Embassy and was inaugurated by Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Ambassador of Thailand to India.

Features: The film festival featured 6 specially curated movies which displayed culture and tradition of Thailand in different ways. These films were chosen on basis of various age-groups and genre and were screened with English subtitles.

The film festival kick started with superhit Thai romantic comedy, Friend Zone at PVR Select Citywalk ine New Delhi. The film depicts a grey zone where relationships are trapped in between being friends and lovers.

Other movies showcased at event include- 2,215, Homestay, The Promise, and The Legend of Muay Thai: 9 Satra and another romantic comedy Suddenly Twenty.

Facts about Thailand

Official Name– Kingdom of Thailand. The short form Thailand means Land of the Free. Until the year 1949, the country’s name used was “Siam”.

Geography: It is located in heart of mainland Southeast Asia (SEA). It is a country of mountains, hills, plains and a long coastline along Gulf of Thailand (1,875 km) and Andaman Sea (740 km). Thailand shares its borders with Lao PDR and Myanmar to north; Lao PDR and Cambodia to the east; Malaysia to the south and Myanmar to the west.

It is a Bi-cameral Parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy.

Scientists discover 163 new species in ecologically diverse Greater Mekong region

Scientists have discovered as many as 163 new species in the ecologically diverse Greater Mekong region of the Southeast Asia. It includes 3 mammals species, 9 amphibians, 11 fish, 14 reptiles and 143 plants. 

These species were discovered in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand. It was revealed by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report.

Key Facts
  • The new species include lizard with dragon-like horns Acanthosaura phuketensis. It was discovered at the Thai tourist island of Phuket.
  • New frog species Leptolalax isos which can fit on a fingertip was discovered in Cambodia and Vietnam.
  • It also includes eye-catching Parafimbrios lao, a snake with rainbow-like scale colours around its head. It was found in the limestone karsts region of northern Laos.
  • A new newt species Tylototriton anguliceps with dazzling red and black markings was also discovered.

About Greater Mekong region

  • The Greater Mekong region is one of the most diverse regions and biodiversity hotspot on the planet. It is a magnet for the world’s conservation because of the incredible diversity of species.
  • It includes southwestern China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. Mekong river helps this diverse region to sustain.
  • The region has a diverse geographic landscape including massifs, plateaus, and limestone karsts, lowlands, deltas, fertile floodplains, forests and grasslands.
  • It is habitats for an estimated 20,000 plant species, 1,300 fish species, 1,200 bird species, 800 reptile and amphibian species and 430 mammal species.
  • However, it is under intense pressure from dam and road building as well as a thriving illegal wildlife trade and climate change.