Thailand Current Affairs - 2019
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The United States and Thailand are hosting the multi-nation Cobra military exercise this year. The exercise is taking place in the northern Thai province of Phitsanulok. 10000 personnel, 29 nations are taking part as participants or observers.
About Cobra Gold Exercise
- It is one of the Asia-Pacific region’s largest multinational military exercises that is held in Thailand every year.
- It was first held in 1982 and its headquarters is in Bangkok, Thailand.
- This is a Thai-American initiative with an aim to improve coordination between the armed forces.
- India joined this exercise for the first time in 2016 while China was admitted for the first time in 2015 but was only allowed to participate in humanitarian assistance training.
- This exercise improved coordination among the military in response to natural disaster. Some of the examples are the Indian Ocean tsunami 2004, 2011 Tōhoku tsunami, Typhoon Haiya etc.
- This year it is the 38th edition of this exercise and it will see active participation from Singapore, Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea, Thailand, and the United States.
- The exercise will include three components: military field training, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief training.
- India is participating in this exercise with a 14 member contingent.
What is Phitsanulok?
It is the capital of Phitsanulok Province and is located in the north of Thailand is on the banks of the Nan river. It is one of the oldest cities of Thailand.
The government of Thailand has approved the proposal to name Siamese fighting fish as the National Aquatic Animal. The decision for based on the recommendation of the National Identity Committee of Thailand which promotes Thai cultural pride forwarded its endorsement of the fighting fish.
The government has approved the proposal owing to the cultural and historical significance of the Siamese fighting fish for Thailand. The Siamese fighting fish was chosen as it’s a native, unique species to the kingdom’s waters and an important animal for Thailand’s economy.
Siamese Fighting Fish
The Siamese fighting fish commonly known as the betta is a popular fish in the aquarium trade. The Siamese fighting fish is native to the Mekong basin of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and mostly found at Chao Phraya river in Thailand.
The Siamese fighting fish was registered as intangible cultural heritage by the Cultural Ministry in 2013. The designation of Siamese fighting fish as Thailand’s national aquatic animal could help boost both conservation efforts and commercial breeding.
The IUCN status of the Siamese fighting fish is Vulnerable. The threats to the Siamese Fighting Fish include Human intrusions & disturbances, Natural system modifications through the construction of Dams Presence of Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases, Pollution due to domestic & urban wastewater, Industrial & military effluents and Agricultural & forestry effluents.