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Translators Foreword I have had the Manit Lophinitss book - from which this one has been translated

- in my possession for some time. In fact it was only after failing to find any objectively accurate and sufficiently detailed English language historical information on Lady Mo1 that I decided to put together what I could and put it in one place. Hopefully the result will add local flavor to current material relating to Korats legendary heroine 2, as well as to provide a bit more insight into local and regional history (with particular attention as to how it is written and by whom) relating to Thai-Lao relationships in the 18th to 19th centuries as it is written by Thais, Laotians and other observers, foreign and domestic. Included in the latter section in this book is a further translation, edited, I had done several years ago of Thao Suranaree-related material provided by the local provincial governor for translation. At the end of it there is a detailed account of how to pay respects to the revered Lady Mo/Thao Suranaree shrine. Generally speaking, the tourist or the expatriate resident of the region knows very little about Thao Suranaree, the revered ancient ruler Anuwongse3 of Laos, or of the
1 2

Thai historians have had over a century to produce it

While recognizing a historical presence of Lady Mo, there are many disputations regarding her role or lack of role in the Korat-based battles against Lao forces who had invaded Thailand as part of Laos last war of independence, centering around the period from 1826 to 1827. 3

From: The Fabric of History, an extract on Born to Siribunyasan (r. 1760-1779), the last independent king of Vientiane,
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historical and deep roots of cultural, racial, religious and other prejudices that permeate the region and the kingdom. There is unity in diversity. The peoples of Thailands different regions, from east to west, north to south, urban to rural, are different. Many hail from diverse and mixed ethnic backgrounds, religions and cultural origins. Despite these differences there is a constant cry for an illusionary national unity that can never be. Generally that call for unity and Thainess4 is made by the nations elites in the name of nation, religion and king. Thailand has traditionally maintained a deep undercurrent of Thainess5 as a form of social control designed to produce an artificial sociopolitical environment that leaves little room
and a princess from the principality of Nong Bua Lam Phu, Chao Anou eventually presided as monarch over both sides of the Mekong River. His mother's principality was a Lao stronghold, close to the edge of the frontier on the Khorat Plateau. Nong Bua Lam Phu's current claim to fame and source of local pride stems from being the birthplace of the now nationally renowned poet, Pangkham, author of the immortal Sang Sinxay. Chao Anou's life began in 1767, a year of intense regional politics, when the Siamese kingdom of Ayudhya fell to the Burmese. Twelve years later, in 1779, the Thai army, victorious in a recent war, took Chao Anou as a prisoner to Bangkok. They returned him to Vientiane as vice king in 1795 when he was in his late twenties. Then in 1804, when Chao Anou's reigning brother, Inthavong, died, the Bangkok court nominated Anou to succeed him as ruler over Laos, Siam's vassal kingdom.

Thainess has become a recent subject of debate in Thailand, given the almost overpowering social pressures in the kingdom to conform to a stiff regime of nation, religion and king. See also

Refer to regarding the truth in mainstream Thainess concepts.

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for genuine individual freedom of expression, certainly discomforting in these the early states of the 21st century. There has also appeared in recent years an increasing call for more rigid censorship and social control6. To illustrate, in his May 2003 paper presented at the Lao History Symposium at the University of Berkley in California, writer Kongkeo Sayocie referred to this system of control which existed in ancient times not much differently as it exists now - and how it is applied to the northeastern region of Thailand in particular. In referring to lack of accuracy in historical records maintained and produced by Thailand, he stated, The Laowere not much different between the ruling elite and its subjects.7 In other words, he continued, inequality wasnt as severe as that of the Siamese/Thai counterpart.Exploitation wasnt in their vocabulary.8 Obviously there is no small degree of romanticism in the observation. But a word of caution does need to be made not to so quickly dismiss the cited nature of the Thai/Siamese

Despite increased censorship and strenuous legislation to maintain censorship as a way of life in Thailand, several outspoken academics and activists continue to speak outside Thailand and online. See,,,, and
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meaning that there was little class differentiation

Overkill to be sure, but the underlying theme, detailed in hundreds of other accounts, paints a picture of an expansionist Manifest Destiny Siam. Page 3

character. That is, an exploitative and prejudiced nature favoring rigid class distinction the sakdina9 system. The expansionist theme attributed to Siam/Thailand is reflected throughout the countrys history - including annexation of the southern Muslim-dominated region. There is in the region today a significant grass-roots resistance to what is perceived as centrally-caused or ignored inequality and injustice. That southern region separatists have not to date been able to actually secede from the larger nation they have been forced to be a part of does not negate either perceived or genuine injustices created by a so-called Buddhist10 majority in Thailand. It is a majority that has been repeatedly involved through silence and indifference in human rights abuses not only in the southern region, but throughout the country since its early forming. This account by Manit Lophinit of the history of Lady Mo, or later the title of Thao Suranaree as she was given royal honors with, is a detailed one. Like many others, besides the romanticism there is a dearth of comparative literature and citations that could lead academics to a deeper understanding of Thai history on the one hand, and on the other, an accurate portrayal of why things today are as they are. There is and has always been a concerted drive to ensure that Thai history remains favorableif not factual. In this regard Thailand seems no different than many other countries, including so-called leaders in democracy such as
9 Chulalongkorn university professors description of the system.



See for an interesting other view of Thais and how they really identify with Buddhism, and why.
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the United States. Yet, introspection and honest analysis of Thai history by Thais is needed. More than that Thai history been neglected and ignored for far too long. The error of not reviewing the past11 to prevent repetition of mistakes today is a lesson not well received by the countrys elite. This translation of Lady Mos history is to be a forerunner of a compendium of several Thai and English language sources to be published in another new book titled The Anuwongse Affair. Appearing in the new book will be work from several sources that provides an overview of multi-lingual history of Tung Samrit, Thao Suranaree, and the Lao king Anuwongse who - according to most historical sources suffered great cruelty at the hands of King Rama III and other Thai royals at the time. While it is hoped that it will provide researchers and academics with additional meaningful material, this book is more or less written for laypersons and others to gain a snapshot of what really happened before, during and after Tung Samrit. Local Thailand-based authoritative research - able to withstand international academic standards - on the important period between 1826-1830 (and of course, the entire historical record between Siam and Laos) when Anuwongse invaded Siam and after he was captured, imprisoned and humiliated before dying, is indeed sparse12.
11 12

See for an extended study of Thai character and modling of modern beliefs. Refer to Thai language report, Acknowledging the Affair of Chao Anuwongse, 1826, in Lao Documents by Dararat Mettarikanon. In it she refers to the sacking of Vientiane and Siamese transporting of most of
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This reality was also underlined many years ago by researcher Charles F. Keyes in his 1967 Cornell University Southeast Asia Program paper titled Isan: Regionalism in Northeastern Thailand. On page 66 he writes, More research needs to be carried out on the events that took place in the Northeast during the Siamese-Lao War of 1827-28. It is known that Khorat remained loyal to Bangkok for one of the most popular stories to come out of the conflict concerned the actions of the wife of the assistantgovernor of Khorat who rallied the people of Khorat against the Lao. This woman, Thao Suranaree is the only northeasterner who is given an important place in Thai (Siamese) History. However, little is known who the other rulers of northeastern principalities supported, although it is likely that some of them had to provide food and corvee13 labor for both the Lao and the Siamese. Additionally, Assist. Prof. Dararat Mettarikanon14 of Khon Kaen University describes the added difficulties in obtaining information from the Lao side to gain accurate insight into the affair. She writes, Origin of documents used in researching the Anuwongse Affair in the years 1826-1828 can be regarded as most difficult to locate. This is because those documents were made of palm leaf15 and were lost to ground rot and weather, to time and war. In the works of Dr.
the documents Laos had relating to Chao Anuwongse on the backs of seven elephants to Bangkok. She also describes how most Lao-based accounts were made on fan palm leaves, and thus highly subject to nature.
13 14

Meaning unpaid labor or labor exacted in compensation such as in lieu of taxation. Acknowledging the Anuwongse Affair, by Dorarat Mettarikanon
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Mayuree and Dr. Pheuyphan Ngaosiwat (1988: 12-13) According to verbal accounts by a Luang Phrabang abbot, in 1827 the Siamese army had to use seven elephants to haul important palm leaf documents from Vientien to Bangkok, as well as another twenty elephants to carry other documents to Yasothon. Every record of the history of Vientiane disappeared.


The reader is advised to visit which describes and offers photos of fan palm leaves used for writing. Also at the Nakhonratchasima Librarys Northeast Studies section on 9 June 2009, this writer was given a look and feel of palm leaves (bai laan in Thai) with Pali text written in fine hand.
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The photo above was taken by translator/writer at Korats city library on 9 June 2009. Shown are actual palm leaves of Pali language documents adjudged by library staff at over 100 years old.

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If the reader will pardon an editorial observation, English language historically-accurate records on the events will be difficult to find in Thailand as a result of there never having been a Reformation16 where knowledge becomes more important than perception. Hopefully this book will begin to make a difference. Why the 1826-1827 war between Laos and Siam was precipitated has intentionally been made open to interpretation by state historians with vested interests. Many western accounts, as well as those from various Lao sources and others, including Muslim-based, indicate that Anuwongse17 and his people had been squeezed first economically then politically, socially and militarily by an expansionist Siam from the beginning of the reign of king Taksin. Together with the majority of the proud Lao people being given short shrift by Thailand, Anuwongse had apparently had enough. Other factors also incensed the Lao, including forced tattooing of all subjects of the Siamese kingdom, enslavement of Lao males, and continued insults to ethnic Lao by many Thai. Such incitement is not, unfortunately, absent in todays18 cultural milieu of Thailand.

In the past a movement to reverse false doctrines and malpractices within the Church, particularly involving the teaching and sale of indulgences. Corruption was seen by many at the time as systemic, even reaching the office of the Pope. In modern day Thailand, high level corruption, as well as corruption throughout society, is seen as endemic.
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Several years ago (est. 2002) the zoo in Nakhonratchasima had to be shut down by the provincial governor when ethnic Lao staff threatened to let out the big cats after the zoos director had made a disparaging ethnic remarks. Staff went on strike until the government replaced the director. In another ethnic (this one Chinese) incident, Korats governor was portrayed by local media in shamefully raising a white flag in
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In summary regarding the legendary Lady Mo, there appears to be sufficient evidence that she probably existed. But then things become unclear, due to lack of credible documentary evidence, whether she was either actually at Tung Samrit, or if she was, whether she played an active and prominent, as local historians have chronicled, role in what was probably the first military reversal of fortune that Chao Anuwonge experienced in his last invasion of Siam. Sensitivities abound, as the reader will quickly discover in the account regarding Miss Saipin and her book, Politics in the Thao Suranaree Monument. As to the photographs in this book, they are being retained and can be seen in full color on the Korat Post website at the Korat Post newspaper, which I founded, was officially first published in April 1999. Unfortunately, local community-based powersthat-be failed to recognize the need for an English language newspaper in this city of over 300,000. Readers who are interested in further commentary or with questions, you are more than welcome to contact me at Frank G Anderson 745/1 Seubsiri Soi 3/13 (Taptim) Meung, Nakhonratchasima 30000 Thailand Tel/Fax: 044-274972

surrendering to the local Chamber of Commerce after he had made antiethnic Chinese remarks (and he was ethnic Chinese himself).
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Expansionist King Rama III, depicted granting an audience [Born: 1788 Died: 1851 Reigned from 21 July 1824 - 2 April 1851] Illustration by Manit Lophinit From his book: History of Important Thai People: Thao Suranaree

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History of Important Thai People, Together With Illustrations:

Thao Suranaree
Text and Illustrations by Manit Lophinit ISBN 974-506-036-4, Published by Aksaraphiphat Printing Co., Ltd. Bangkok, Thailand Printed at Thippayawisut Printing, BE 2536 (AD 1993) [Note: The author has produced several other works, including a 65 page softcover book, Thai Music, 160 page, softcover Life History and Works of Soontorn Phlu, among others.] Photographs by Frank G Anderson

This book History of Important People of Thailand: Thao Suranaree is [part of] the same set as Phrayaphichai and Baan Bang Rajan, which have already been read by some of you. This set of books - whether classified as education or entertainment - has been determined to be appropriate for youth. Its purpose is to promote love of reading among youth, for youth to pass free time usefully, to be beneficial in education, and allow youth to do independent research. In this additional book [in the series] I have thus attempted to research additional evidence from various books and documents, to compile it and propagate among youth and others interested, as well as to ensure that [what is produced] is most complete. I wish to thank all those who have shown me continual support in this effort; such support which can be likened to moral support that gave me the strength to produce even better results [than would otherwise have been the case]. Signed, Manit Lophinit

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In 1826 Anuwongse19of Vientiane rebelled20 against Bangkok, raised an army and was able to seize Nakhonratchasima, herding Nakhonratchasima families and transporting them [to as far as] Tung Samrit as prisoners on the way back to Vientiane. Lady Mo gathered men and women together for the fight, engaging in hand to hand combat with the Lao soldiers who totally fell apart in disarray. Anuwongse retreated with his forces. Eventually the Thai forces followed and overcame [the Laotians), and captured Anuwongse. The brave woman gained the name of heroine. She had saved Nakhonratchasima, through her abilities, benefitting the nation. His Majesty King Rama III conferred a royal decoration upon her to become Thao Suranaree, as well as conferring a royal decoration upon her husband (Thongkham) the deputy governor of Nakhonratchasima, to become Chao Phraya.21 Thao Suranaree passed away on the fifth month of BE 2395 [AD 1852) at age 81. Chao Phrayamahisarathibodi, her husband, then enshrined her ashes in a chedi at Wat Salaloi,
[Translators note: See Wiki : As the reader is aware, there are various spellings of Asian names into English, some versions being preferred, others dictated by official regulations, still others the best possible under circumstances. Anuwongse is used in this translation to reflect the Lao rulers name as it is written in Thai, with the se ending but with the knowledge that those two letters are silent.] 20 Many historians recount that the rebellion was not a simple case of a vassal state trying to become free, but of a harassed and insulted proud power that attempted to reestablish its own status and power. 21 In olden times, the highest rank a government official could obtain. Page 14

a wat which Thao Suranaree had built: later the chedi deteriorated with age and wear.

The distinctive styling of Wat Salaloi photo FGA

Brigadier General Phraya Singsanee, (Sa-ad Singsanee) former commissioner of Nakhonratchasima, later becoming privy councilor and minister, donated materials to construct a new small chedi to enshrine the remains of Thao Suranaree in a central wat (Wat Phranarai the Great) completing construction on 7 June (Rattanakosin era/Bangkok era 118) A.D.1899. Afterward that chedi deteriorated. As well, it was deemed to be located in a narrow hard to access space, thereby lacking sufficient dignity and failing to reflect the honor of the remains enshrined that they deserved22.

Deserved is a choice of words based on historical interpretation, and not without countervailing opinion from others. Miss Saipin Kaewngamprasert, a former MBA student, wrote a thesis, Politics in the
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Phraya Kamthornphayathip (Dis InInthonsol) governor of Nakhonratchasima, Col. Phrarerngrukpajjamitr (Thong Raksanop) an Army precinct commander, together with civil servants and the people of Nakhonratchasima, joined to construct a new Thao Suranaree monument made of copper, bringing her remains to enshrine them and completing the task at Chumphol Gate on 15 January 1934. By 1967 the base of the monument had again deteriorated. Government servants and the people of Nakhonratchasima, with Mr. Suwat Wongpatithat, governor of Nakhonratchasima as chair, got together to build a new foundation for the Thao Suranaree monument at the same location so that it would be an auspicious credit to the nation and forever eulogize the honor of heroine Thao Suranaree. Construction was completed on 29 November 1967.

Thao Suranaree
Woman are generally sweet and soft, self-reserved and modest, appreciating beauty and skilled at housework. But in truth women [equally] possess bravery, endurance, intelligenceand complete resourcefulness runs through their blood. [It has been so] whether in the past or the present. Thus the words of Phraya Upakitsilpasarn (Nim Kanchanachiwa), who wrote23:
Thao Suranaree Memorial which gained first acclaim then blame. See extended translation of the incident in Appendix.

Translators note: The author indicates a sixteen stanza poem which goes beyond this translators capability to provide a fair and accurate English language rendition, and is thus not included. It portrays, however, a romanticized and idealized description of Lady Mo.
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The history of a Thai woman is etched in the history of one known as heroine of the nation, who committed a heroic act of bravery, inscribed [in her monument] to show her honorable history for succeeding generations to knowand to employ in their own livesthat woman is Thao Suranaree. Thao Suranarees original name is Mo [mid-tone pronunciation] or Mo [high tone pronunciation]. She was the daughter of Mr. Kim and Mrs. Boonma, an old venerated family in Nakhonratchasima (Korat), born in 1771, in the land of King Taksin the Great, Thonburi period. (The book Fah Tam Paen Din Sung [Low Skies, Lofty Land] by Sirarak written as a history of Thao Suranaree states that she was from the central region, not Korat, and that she came to Korat later.)24 In her early years Khun Mo was one of Korats handsome young women, well mannered and behaved, soft-spoken, clever and shrewd. But on occasion as she joined in games, she would not lose against boys - who liked to engage in daredevil activities such as sword fighting or martial arts stick fighting. As she grew older Khun Mo, besides being a very attractive young lady, was skilled at housekeeping. Replete with softspoken manners but also possessing concealed resolve, she displayed firmness and seriousness. Marriage Arranged


Other historians and academics clearly indicate Lady Mo was born in Korat. The issue is open to clarification.
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Later when Khun Mo was of the age when she should leave the family nest, her father and mother arranged for her marriage to Phraya Suriyadechawisetritthithodthitwicha (Thong Kham) deputy governor of Nakhonratchasima, more commonly known as Phraya Palat Khun Ying Mo was quick-witted and sharp. Besides taking care of her husband (Phraya Palat) she did not remain idle, rather helping her husband with tasks as much as she could until she gradually became a well-loved person among the people of Nakhonratchasima. Her manners and actions thus became the reason Khun Ying Mo later received royal graciousness of being named Thao Suranaree. 25


[Translators note: Thao is an honorific that may represent a woman who is a palace attendant, or more generally a chief or leader. In this case it is a bestowment of a title of nobility.
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King Rama III, granting an audience to Chao Anuwogse, King of Vientiane Illustration by Manit Lophinit From his book: History of Important Thai People: Thao Suranaree

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Anuwongse Pays Respect But Is Shamed When 1825 arrived King Rama III (Jessadabodindra) made arrangements for the cremation of his father Rama II (Buddha Loetla Nabhalai). Rulers throughout the Siamese kingdom were to attend the ceremonies and present offers to show their respect. On that occasion King Anuwongse of Vientiane personally travelled to the ceremonies to submit his own offerings; a great number of attendees accompanied him. As Anuwongse dwelled in Bangkok, King Rama III requested military conscript labor from him to help cut an unspecified number of sugar palm trees in Suphanburi province to then drag them on for use to Samutprakarn province. Anuwongse had his son Chao Rachawongse (Ngao) and vice sovereign Teesasa, his younger brother, oversee the work as ordered until it was completed.26 Anuwongse was at the time proud of himself in being a favorite of King Rama III, feeling so as he had performed quite a few services for the Thai monarch, including twice using Vientiane military forces to fight against Burma at Chieng Saen. His forces had also acted in putting down a rebellion from the Kha, whose leader was Ai Kietngon located at Meung Nakhon Champasakdi27, in 1819.


Many historians generally based outside Thailand, clearly cite this claimed abuse of hospitality on the part of the Siamese host as one of the reasons Anuwongse felt humiliated and insulted by both King Rama III and some of his senior family members. Foreigner accounts at the time state that the Thais were insulting Anuwongse and his entourage just because they were Lao.
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Anuwongse thus thought that if he were to request anything from the king it was certain that Rama III would not refuse. The rainy season was about to arrive and Anuwongse prepared to return to Vientiane. As he appeared in audience before Rama III to take leave, he decided to ask for a royal favor of the release of Vientiane Lao families that had been herded up as slaves during the Thonburi Period of Rama I some fifty years before, as well as the release of Chao Phrayasurasi, who was commander of forces in attacks against Krung Srisatnakhonhut in 1778, so they could all return to their homes in Laos. Anuwongses request to King Rama III caused the monarch to become speechless. The king then issued a final royal directive, Those Vientiane Lao families that Anuwongse would have return to Laosthey have all come and set up residence in Thailand to the extent that they are now established. 28 If a royal decree sends them back, perhaps someday in the future they may join together to become a danger and it is not certain whether they would return to Thailand and cause harm and confusion. The important point is to ensure all of


Champasakdi played a central role in the 1826-27 Lao-Thai conflict and preceding events that led to it, and was a former Lao capital for the eastern region of what is now NE Thailand.

Thai historical accounts of the repeated forced mass relocation of ethnic Lao from their homeland (usually as slaves) to Thailand have typically termed the moves exoduses or equal, making it appear as if the Thais had not done anything amiss.
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the kingdoms towns and cities to be examples29 so they can extend and grow. For this reason His Majesty refused Anuwongse and did not issue a royal order granting his request. Anuwongse, shamed and greatly disgraced nevertheless bowed respectfully in taking leave. At the same time the Lao king felt embittered and vengeful towards Rama III and the Thais.


Presumably this implies that resettled families should be recognized as an integral part of their Thai communities.
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Chao Anuwongse with advisers plotting a revolt, or war of independence, depending on historical versions of the rebellion. Illustration by Manit Lophinit From his book: History of Important Thai People: Thao Suranaree

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The Lao King Plans War of Liberation When he had returned to Vientiane Anuwongse immediately developed plans to rebel against Thailand.30 He sought out his younger brother Chao Uparattisssa, his eldest son Chao Sutthisarn, his second son Chao Rachawongse and nobleman Thao Phia for advice, saying, Bangkok today is not the same as before. There are only minor officers left. There are very few left versed in the ways of warfare. In fighting they are weak and not like in the past. And at the moment Chao Phraya Nakhonratchasima 31 is not there [at Nakhonratchasima], and so there are not many people guarding the gates to the city. Circumstances are ideal, therefore we should settle in remaining a colony any longer. Now we shall raise an army and attack Bangkok, and I see that it will be easy.32 But Chao Uparat did not agree with the plan this time and reminded Chao Anuwongse that, Bangkok is a large

The theme of rebelling against Thailand has been repeatedly ingrained into Thai culture and history texts, ignoring the Lao version, wellsupported by Western and other scholars, that the struggle was for liberation from Siamese oppression and expansionism.

Nakhonratchasima was, in fact, at the center of Anuwongses dissatisfaction, as the principality had for some time been interfering in what had traditionally been Lao trade routes. As well, Bangkok was exerting its influence throughout the Lao northeast via Korat.

This chronicled approach by Anuwongse is also challenged by many historians who retort that it was unlikely the Lao king would have told his counselors such a tale as he himself was well-versed with the Thai military and royalty and would have known the situation for what it really was.
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principality. It is certain even after attacking we will not be able to remain in the city as rulers and hold it. The people in general will rise up and rebel. It will create confusion. It would be like sitting on the tip of a thorn. Anuwongse listened to Chao Uparat but responded by saying, If we cannot hold the city, then we should herd families together and take them - as well as the [Thai] royal treasury - back to Vientiane. And we shall then set up forces along the way to prevent Thai troops from following. As provision supply lines are pretty extended, we shall make war for years, canand are not afraid whatsoever.33 Chao Uparat saw that Anuwongse was angry, even more resolute and unreasonable and would not listen. If Chao Uparat responded and made trouble the prince would blame him for undermining the argument. So he remained silent and no longer said anything. During this Thonburi Bangkok period Vietnam34 was experiencing insurrections with rebellions taking place from Kaisern (Taiserng or Taisern). The rebels attacked the capital and other major principalities until they reached Saigon, which they captured and thus took over the entire country. The king and royal family members had all to flee, and did so separately fleeing to Thailand until there were only left Onchiengsoon and Ongchiengleu. 35 Opportunities and Confusion

Some historians have written that Anuwongse estimated it would take about three years to succeed in his campaign to fight from underneath Thai domination and control.

Vietnam was sympathetic to Laos and vying at the time with Siam for influence in the region.
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In 1823 England dispatched Captain Henry Burney36 to Thailand as ambassador. He entreated the Thais to help the British once more to fight the Burmese. In response, King Rama III assigned Chao Phraya Mahayotha to command the Thai forces to march on the city of Motama. It was at the time that Burmese troops had come back to fight for return of the city, and the Thai forces were able to defend it. But Thailand and Britain also developed differences. When Thailand requested Britain to cede Motama and other nearby principalities to it in return for Thai assistance given to Britain for fighting Burma, Britain did not agree. It wanted Burma as a trading post and was considering setting up an independent state in Burma. So Britain beat around the bush and persuaded Chao Phraya Mahayotha, whom the Burmese people respected and admired, to be ruler of the country henceforth. But Chao Phraya Mahayotha was not willing to agree and thus withdrew his troops and would not provide forces to help Britain fight any more.


Translators note: For some pages the authors writing records various aspects and incidents of fighting among Burma, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as interference in the region by colonial powers. It is only well into this section that the author records relevant history of differences between Siam and England that he reverts to Anuwongse and his desire for revenge against Thailand.

[Translators note: There are date discrepancies between the authors date cited and other sources. For example, Wikipedia indicates Burney was sent to Bangkok in 1825.
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In 1824 rumors reached Vientiane37 that Thailand had developed a dispute with Britain and that Britain would sail in a navy and surround Bangkok. Anuwongse immediately saw an opportunity to carry out his plans to rebel against Thailand, with the support of Vietnam, by sending forces into Thailand to storm various cities in Thailands east, as per the following: Chao Rachabutr (Yo) ruler of Meung Champasakdi joined with his father (Anuwongse), who together with the ruler of Champasakdi,38 would enter and take over the main principalities of Thailands east Khmer domains of Sisaket, Dejudom, Yasothon, and Ubolratchathani. (It was Chao Yo that Rama III while the latter had the rank of Prince of the First Class and head of forces - had reared and given support for him to become the ruler of Champasakdi.)


A historical reference from the website, welldocumented, indicates that the governor of Nakhonratchasima himself was involved in sending messages to Anuwongse and Rama III, among other reasons, to confuse Anuwongse and to safeguard his own interests.

[Present day Paks is the former capitol of the Lao province of Champasakdi.]
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Chao Anuwongse on horse, beginning what Thailand has traditionally cited as a mere rebellion. Illustration by Manit Lophinit From his book: History of Important Thai People: Thao Suranaree

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Chao Uparat (Tisasa) raised a Vientiane Lao army and invaded northeast Thailand, taking over the principalities of Kalasin, Chonabotsuwwanabhumi, Khon Kaen, and Roiet, whereby Anuwongse had imparted orders to Yo and Sisasa that, When you have already taken over the principalities of the east, herd together the families of the main principalities and take them to Vientiane. Afterwards both armies are to then proceed to Nakhonratchasima. Ominous Signs Warn of Disaster At the time that Anuwongse was making plans to attack Bangkok, in Vientiane itself there were surprising

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developments39 that took place that no one could have expected, that is There was a great storm, wrecking the homes of the people including that of Chao Anuwongses wife. An earthquake also followed which caused a large fissure behind the city. This in turn caused the people to become very fearful.40


Note that in Siam there were also reports of celestial and other natural events with ominous meanings. From in the Siamese capital in 1824, the astrologers of Rama III recorded in their diary: "Thursday, the second day of the waxing moon of the fifth month, a three hours pm, cyclone on earth and on sea. The spire of the royal palace dropped in the palace... Friday, the seventh day of the waning moon of the seventh month, the white elephant offered by Chiang Mai is dead." For the year 1825, the Siamese king's astrologers registered: "Thursday, the fourth day of the waxing moon of the tenth month, in the morning, showing of two suns which pursued each other until mid-day, then circles amounted three or four around the sun. Tidal waves which lift boats to a height exceeding the spire of the highest stupa." The astrologers took notice again of the appearance of two suns over Bangkok in the year 1827. Cf. Chotmaihet Hon (1965) (T), pp. 105106. It seems that in the 1820s, the sky and the earth were in turmoil in Southeast Asia. Luan Prabang's chronicler related in 1825, "the appearance of a comet, turning its tail in the Eastern direction. Earthquake of an unprecedented gravity. The most steep heights of Pha Een, Pha Theung, Pha Sieng Kha, Pha Ho, Pha Hong, Phan Nam Ta Nang Oi have nearly disappeared." Chotmaihet yo muang vientiane (L), luang Prabang Royal Palace. In Nan reports of the bad omens also abounded. "Early in the next year [1824], the Mong River suddenly dried up at midday. The water started to flow again in the afternoon... [In 1825] there had been a frightful hurricane which came from the west. It blew down many trees and houses. The image of Wat Chae Haeng was bent towards the Southeast.' Nan Chronicle (1966), p. 68. On September 2,1824, the explorer De Bougainville leaving Singapore for Cavite, had to face an earthquake, then a typhoon which damaged one of his two frigates, the Esperance. Guillon (1917), p. 292.
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Anuwongse was startled at the events that occurred so he called an astrologer to advise him how ominous the occurrences were. When the astrologer had consulted the stars and planetary positions to determine the fate of Vientiane, he predicted that, These are serious misfortunes. If Anuwongse wages war on Bangkok he will be vanquished and will have no land to live in. Therefore please abandon this idea.


Additional historical references confirm these events, as well as adding that the Mekong river at the time had dried up suddenly before returning to normal.
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Astrologer given audience with Chao Anuwongse who became angry at the dire predictions and ordered the astrologers execution. Illustration by Manit Lophinit From his book: History of Important Thai People: Thao Suranaree

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Anuwongse became very angry and ordered the astrologer to be taken away and executed. But someone called for him to be spared and thus he narrowly escaped losing his life. The War Begins When events had all returned to normal, Anuwongse sent 9,000 army conscripts under the command of Chao Rachawongse, who commanded the leading force, with King Anuwongse and Chao Sutthisarn commanding the main royal forces. They moved out and crossed the Mekong River at Nong Khai, passing Baan Phan Phraw in present day Udornthani province, reaching Baan Don Sarn. King Anuwongse assigned thirty troops to guard Chao Phraya Srimum (Phrayarnrin), prevailing upon him to join forces with the Lao. King Anuwongse rested his troops, training them at the Baan Don Sarn camp for a full month. He then directed Chao Rachawongse to command 3,000 troops to be first to march south. Chao Rachawongse arrived with his forces at Nakhonratchasima on 14 February 1826, appealing to local officials to supply his troops with provisions. Phraya Phromphakdi, in charge of Thai provision supply services, noticed the unusually large number of Lao forces. So he asked Chao Rachawongse as to why such a large number of forces had been assembled.

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Lao soldiers on the march against Thailand, 1826. Illustration by Manit Lophinit From his book: History of Important Thai People: Thao Suranaree

Chao Rachawongse replied that, King Rama III has directed that conscripts be assembled to help fight the British and

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King Anuwongse has himself joined in and should arrive [here] in two or three days.41 Once Chao Rachawongse had accessed provisions, he gave secret orders to his officers to first assemble forces to gather the Lao families in Saraburi. As for himself, he would wait for the main royal forces to arrive. When Anuwongse arrived they had the Lao forces follow on to Meung Phu Khiewchonabot, Phutthaisong, and Meung Chaiyaphum. All along the route King Anuwongse would inform the local rulers that King Rama III had instructed Lao conscripts to march south to join forces with the Thais to fight the British. The rulers of each principality along the route thought that the account was genuine, as they had noted King Rama III had in the past shown favor toward Anuwongse. As well, it was well known that matters in those times with Britain were unsettled. Thus the Lao forces were allowed to proceed, as well as being given provisions by the Thais even though the Lao were invading!42 Lao Forces Take Korat Soon, the Lao forces commanded by Anuwongse and Chao Suthisarn reached Nakhonratchasima, arriving on 17

Anuwongses guile deeply upset the Thai, and they dealt harshly with him later after he was in their custody, shamed that they had been fooled in such a manner.

This was one of the main considerations, apparently, for the cruel treatment of the Vientiane king after he was taken to Bangkok as prisoner. The Thais had been humiliated and wanted to teach him a lesson.
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February 1826. They established seven large camps at Thalae Ya to the east of Nakhonratchasima, with about 80,000 troops. At the time Chao Phraya Nakhonratchasima, the governor of Nakhonratchasima, was not there. He was away on government military service, arising from a royal order to settle a conflict between Chao Meung Khukhan (Phraya Kraisornsongkhram) and Luang Yokkrabatr - younger brother - where an altercation had developed into fighting between the two. Phraya Palat (Thongkham) [Korats deputy governor] and many of the citys Department of Political Affairs staff had accompanied this group. Therefore within Nakhonratchasima there were left only Phraya Phromphakdi in charge of the city. King Anuwongse used the same method once again as he had with other principality rulers along the path marching south, and Phraya Phromphakdi believed him. Phraya Phromphakdi was also aware that Anuwongse had received the kings favor in the past and as a result, he accepted the apparent situation and even gave provisions to the large concentration of Lao soldiers camped east of Nakhonratchasima. Anuwongses Plan Uncovered But at the same time Phrasuriphakdi (Pom) became involved. It was he whom King Rama III had appointed as High Commissioner to surreptitiously obtain land in upcountry eastern Laos - and who was able to obtain Kalasin, Yasothon and other provinces along the Mekong River.

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At Yasothon near the end of his task and about to return to Bangkok, Phrasuriphakdi received word that Anuwongse was deceiving the Thai principalities in gaining his move south. As he had been in government service himself and thus had some instinct, Phrasuriphakdi realized that Anuwongse had rebelled. He hurriedly had someone pass the word on to Nakhonratchasima. But it was too late. Anuwongse had already seized Nakhonratchasima. Within the principality - as said - were left only political affairs staff and thus no one had any thought of fighting against the Laotians. After he had seized Nakhonratchasima Anuwongse assigned Chao Rachawongse who commanded the leading forces to head a 600 troop unit and travel to Saraburi to establish a camp there, and then to wait for additional forces to arrive to attack Bangkok. Korat Families Herded For Trek to Vientiane Then Anuwongse ordered the herding together of families of government officials and people of Nakhonratchasima within his own camp. He also ordered that anyone who resisted be immediately executed. Altogether some 600 families were rounded up; seventy elephants were also herded together. Among the men and women prisoners included the children and wife of the governor. Khun Ying Mo, wife of the deputy governor, was among the prisoners.43 Anuwongse wanted to have the herded prisoners arrive at Vientiane within four days so he divided the

Miss Boonleu, historically cited by some historians as having been raised by Khun Ying Mo, was also allegedly part of the group.
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Nakhonratchasima families into two groups and had them travel separately as follows: The first group Anuwongse directed Phiaramphichai to command 200 Lao troops to march them to Vientien along through Tung Samrit. For this first group there was also supervision by Phrayaphakdi, Nakhonratchasimas provisions supply official. The second group of Lao troops was to guard their prisoners and depart through Nong Bua Phayu then to Vientiane. Anuwongse had his troops completely disarm the Nakhonratchasima family members of any weapons until they had nothing left. Khun Ying Mo Makes Plans During this time, Khun Ying Mo, the wife of the deputy governor of Nakhonratchasima, was well versed in how to fight, and thus was not frightened or disheartened whatsoever. Thus she resolved to remain steadfast and persevere, to think up of ways of defeating the Lao enemy, how to help other fellow Nakhonratchasima families to not become prisoners of the Laotians. When she had thought of a stratagem44 she made arrangements with the Thai kitchen staff to hold up the march north. She intended to wait for added kitchen staff in the second group of prisoners so they could all join together. When this had been accomplished Khun Ying Mo asked each of the young female kitchen workers if they wished to

Many other accounts do not ascribe the planning to any women in the group but rather to male leaders who were there.
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destroy their enemieswhich of course all the women were devoted to doing.

Lao officers and soldiers at Tung Samrit being plied with satho (rice wine) and sex. A.D. 1826 Illustration by Manit Lophinit From his book: History of Important Thai People: Thao Suranaree

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At Khun Ying Mos behest, the young women then went to the Lao soldiers and become close to them45. When she saw that the women and Lao soldiers were getting along together well and relaxed, she had Phraya Phromphakdi notify Phiaramphichai, head of those overseeing the prisoners, that: This flight of the citys prisoners to Vientiane has produced hardships upon them, as they are without tools to find food along the way. So we would like to ask for knives and axes to cut down wood for kindling as well as for putting up shelter and cooking rice. As well, five or six gunsenough to shoot meat for provisions along the way. Phiaramphichai agreed with the need and provided the weapons. The entourage kept traveling until they reached Tung Samrit, a district of Phimai about forty kilometers east of the city of Nakhonratchasima (today the area of Song Ngam, Phimai district of Nakhonratchasima province). Khun Ying Mo then pleaded with Phiraramphichai for the group to rest at Tung Samrit by claiming the following need: We are all women and dont have the strength to continue traveling great distances like this. The families are tired and exhausted from following along. And another thing, some are feverish and under a great deal of strain. Phiaramphichai agreed to allow the group to rest at Tung Samrit. Afterward when the second group of prisoners had

In his lengthy History of Isan, Nakhonratchasima and Heroism at Tung Samrit, 1995, local Thai author Nete Nimit details the Tung Samrit affair more closely, citing intense feelings of the Thai women who plied their captors with satho and amorousness before joining Lady Mo and other male officers to revolt against their captors.
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caught up with them at Tung Samrit, there were now more of them than there were Lao soldiers guarding the families. Khun Ying Mo immediately began putting her plan into action by having male kitchen staff in the group cut wood and sharpen it for use as weapons such as spears and javelins to destroy their foes. As to the women in the group Khun Ying instructed them to steal away weapons from their captors when they received a signal during the night.

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Presumably Khun Ying Mo overseeing some arrangements. Illustration by Manit Lophinit From his book: History of Important Thai People: Thao Suranaree

When they had agreed as to how to carry out the plan, they waited for the right moment to approach. So as to make sure nothing went awry and the soldiers did not capture them, Khun Ying Mo and other cooks cut wood for cooking dinner
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and making shelter, and entertained the Lao soldiers. She had the young female kitchen staff gradually gain the trust of the Lao guards. As for Phiaramphichai, head of the group guarding the prisoners, Khun Ying Mo had the daughter of Luangcharoen who was more attractive than any of the others, named Leua46 to wait upon and take special care47 of him.

This is the same Boonleua that has been honored for her alleged role at Tung Samrit. The following is translated from Thai Wiki: Translation of Miss Boonleua History Miss Boonleu, or Aunt Boonleu, is a heroine in Thai history who played an important part in retrieving Nakhonratchasima, together with Thao Suranaree, from seizure of the city by Anuwongse, the ruler of Vientiane, at Tung Samrit in 1826, during the reign of King Rama III. History and Heroism of Miss Boonleu Miss Boonleu was the child of Luangcharoen of the Department of Commoners, Nakhonratchasima. Luangcharoens family was close-knit and cordial, who much revered and respected the deputy governor of Nakhonratchasima and Khun Ying Mo. In addition, the two did not have any children of their own, or daughter, and thus loved and cared after Miss Boonleu as if she were their real daughter. In the year 1826, Anuwongse, the ruler of Vientiane, raised an army and invaded Thailand up to Nakhonratchasima, claiming along the way that he was under royal Thai orders to proceed on to Bangkok to help the Thais fight the British. And because during those days both the governor and deputy governor of Nakhonratchasima were not in the city but had traveled to Khukhan to resolve a local political dispute, Anuwongse and his forces were thus easily able to seize Nakhonratchasima. Then they herded Nakhonratchasima families together and marched the prisoners toward Vientiane. Among the captured were Khun Ying Mo and Miss Boonleu.
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Throughout that night the Vientiane Lao soldiers received the fullest attention from the young women, growing relaxed and careless under desire rousing acts and alcohol until they were all totally off-guard. When it grew late, around three in the morning, Khun Ying Mo had a reconnoitering group to sneak out and check on the
While Anuwongse and his forces took an evening rest during their trek to the Laotian city at Tung Samrit, on 4 March 1826, Khun Ying Mo and Miss Boonleu, together with Luangnarongsongkram, head of the townfolk there, used cunningness to have the townfolk provide alcohol and food to the Lao soldiers who had marched the captives to Tung Samrit. When almost all of the Lao forces had drunk and eaten and become totally offguard, when the opportunity presented itself, both the men and women in the group of Nakhonratchasima captives seized weapons from the soldiers and then killed a majority of them. This action caused the plan to retrieve Nakhonratchasima to become successful. And during that incident, Miss Boonleu sacrificed her life by going around the Lao soldiers waving burning branches at them taken from a campfire. She enticed them until she had reached the area where bullets and gunpowder were stored on carts. It was there that a spark ignited the gunpowder, which in turn caused a large explosion, lighting up the entire Tung Samrit area. By her irresolute decision the sacrifice and memory of Miss Boonleu will remain in the hearts of the people of Nakhonratchasima, and they will never forget. Miss Boonleu Memorial The Miss Boonleua Memorial is located at Boonleu School in Tambol Khok Sung, meung district of Nakhonratchasima, approximately 12.5 kilometers from the city, along Route 205, Chaiyaphum road. The people of Nakhonratchasima together sculpted and cast the statue and held a ceremony commemorating it on 6 July 1986. the memorial was built as a reminder of miss Boonleuas personal sacrifice and to tell the heroic tale to the people of Nakhonratchasima of a person who sacrificed to save the nation at Tung Samrit in 1826.
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condition of the Vientiane Lao soldiers. The group had not even reached the resting place of the soldiers before they were met by Phrayaphromphakdi along the path, who had them go back to Khun Ying Mo and report that: The plan is working. The Lao soldiers are drunk and senseless, so you can proceed. Khun Ying Mo was pleased that the plan that had been developed was working so well. She spoke to the remaining kitchen staff to remain stout hearted and that they would help each other strike down their enemies. She told them not to allow themselves or their families to become prisoners of the Laotians no matter what. The kitchen staff all determined to do as they were advised. Captors Begin Fight to Reclaim Freedom Khun Ying Mo then had all the kitchen workers around rise up, to shout loudly amidst the nights silence, playing a trick by making the Lao soldiers think that Thai forces were approaching to lend the prisoners assistance.

The province and people of Nakhonratchasima decided to construct the Miss Boonleu Memorial at Boonleu School on 6 July 1986. General Prem Tinsulalonda, at the time Prime Minister presided over the ceremonies. There was also a decision that every 4 March each year would celebrate Miss Boonleuas heroism, and to change the Miss Boonleua statues scarf [crossed over the bosom and tied at the back of the neck, as a halter], in color with the current year color, whereby government officials, the provincial governor, merchants and townspeople would join in the ceremony. Garlands are also placed on the statue in commemoration.

The special care, given to many of the Lao guards, included rice wine and close female companionship.
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Khun Ying Mos group, who had been sleeping with the Lao soldiers in quarters or under bush, when they heard the commotion all rose up quickly and grabbing away the swords that were there, they stabbed and killed almost all the Lao soldiers. The Thai male captives also charged in with the lances and spikes they had prepared, killing almost the entire company of Lao soldiers that had been guarding the captives, with few getting away.

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Thai soldiers joining in after the initial revolt at Tung Samrit. Illustration by Manit Lophinit From his book: History of Important Thai People: Thao Suranaree
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At that moment Khun Leua was entertaining Phiaramphichai. As she heard the commotion and shouting she understood that the plan was being carried out as agreed. Thus she rose quickly and seized Phiaramphichais sword to stab him to death. But he was able to defend himself and took the sword away from her. Khun Leua then ran quickly away, racing toward a large pile of kindling that had been burning, running about with a piece to scare the Lao captors. She came close to a cart loaded with black powder that was sitting nearby. The flame reached some of the black powder which caught fire and quickly spread to the rest stored there. There was a very large explosion, with all the carts loaded with black powder blowing up. The explosion encompassed everything in the area and no one there could escape. The remains of the two, Khun Leua and Phiaramphichai, were found amid the embers, totally mutilated. Victory Achieved When they had achieved complete victory over the Vientiane Lao soldiers, Khun Ying Mo and the other kitchen workers from the city gathered together all the weapons and food provisions that the Lao soldiers had been using and set up a camp at Tung Samrit to defend against the Lao for three reasons: First, they could not return to Nakhonratchasima because King Anuwongse and his forces were probably still within the city. Secondly, a lot of the Thai captives were now spread out and separated from one another, so setting up the camp would give everyone an opportunity to rejoin families and forces for combined strength. Thirdly, to survive any

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attack from troops from Bangkok that would be gathered against them. As to the corpses of the Lao soldiers who had been killed, the Thais dragged them all to a nearby marsh where they dumped the bodies, almost filling the swamp. The stench from the rotting corpses spread all around the area. The swamp thus became known as Lao Heads Swamp and still exists at Tung Samrit in Phimai district of Nakhonratchasima province to this day. During the time when the governor of Nakhonratchasima was carrying out his military assignment at Khukhan, he learned that King Anuwongse had rebelled and had gathered forces and taken over the city of Nakhonratchasima. He was surprised and fearful that the Lao forces would totally destroy the city. So he quickly had Phraya Palat, the deputy governor, command some forces to determine the status of Nakhonratchasima first. But they were not able to enter the city as they were outnumbered by the Lao forces there. So the deputy governor had to withdraw his men from near the city. When he had learned that Khun Ying Mo, his wife, was head of the force that had retrieved freedom from their Lao captors at Tung Samrit, he took his own forces there to join those with her. Afterward when those families who had fled into the forest heard that there was a Thai encampment at Tung Samrit, they came out and joined the larger group, further increasing the number of Thai forces there. The two or three Lao soldiers who had survived at Tung Samrit carried the news of the reversal at Tung Samrit to King Anuwongse at Nakhonratchasima.
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Anuwongse Mobilizes for Return to Tung Samrit King Anuwongse became very angry that his Vientiane Lao soldiers had fallen to the Thai captives and so ordered creation of a company of 3,000 soldiers, and assigned Chao Sutthisarn, Chao Kham Phra and Chao Pan to command the group and proceed to Tung Samrit to deal with the Thai forces there. When Khun Ying Mo, head of the encampment at Tung Samrit, Phraya Palat and Phrayaphromphakdi learned that King Anuwongse had assigned Lao troops to fight against them, they prepared to come out and battle the Lao. They assigned the men to act as left and right flanks. Phrayapalat and Phrayaphromphakdi commanded the center and Khun Ying Mo was in charge of the reserve force at the rear. Whoever was without a weapon fashioned one from wood made into a club or spear, and they all met the Lao troops head on. This time they fought head-on hand-to-hand with the Laotians, with the kitchen workers killing scores of Lao soldiers. The Laotians were not able to hold their own and those who were left withdrew to Nakhonratchasima. In Bangkok they now knew that King Anuwongse had rebelled. After Phrasuriyaphakdi returned from his assignment in the eastern part of Laos, he appeared before King Rama III and said, King Anuwongse the ruler of Vientiane has become audacious and has not been sincere with the Thai, massing troops to enter Thailand and capture Nakhonratchasima.

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King Rama III thus directed that military conscripts in the upper part of the southern region be dispatched immediately to Bangkok to gather for an attack on Vientiane. At the same time the directive was being issued Bangkok received a written notification that There is an enemy army set up in Saraburi now, and it is estimated that it may reach Bangkok in two-three days. Bangkok was not certain about the size of the enemy force and thus set up defenses for Bangkok. Military garrisons were set up all along the route from Samsen Field to Hua Lamphong. When one regiment of the military conscripts had prepared for battle, King Rama III assigned Phrarachabitula as commander to take the forces to Saraburi to fight against the enemy assembled there first. The troops began their move on Saturday, 3 March 1826. When the royal forces commanded by Phrarachabitula reached Phraphutabaht harbor, Chao Anuwongse, commander of the Lao forces there, did not remain but took his forces and fled back to Nakhonratchasima. Phrarachabitula took back control of Saraburi. He then waited for the main Thai forces to join him for the attack on Vientiane. After the first army had left Bangkok, Rama III commanded that a second regiment to be raised to deal with the rebels in the east in the principalities of Ubol and Roiet, and when finished to join the royal Prince of the Palace forces at Vientiane.

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He designated Krommeunsurinthorn to be in overall command, Phraya Rachsuphawadi as commander of the leading force and Chaophrayaklang (who would later in the 4th Chakri Dynasty advance in rank to Grand Duke/Prince (Somdechchaophrayabarommahaprayoonwongse), the most senior title among ranks, commanding the second leading force. Krommeunphiphitphubaen acted as the left flank and Krom Meunphipthakthawaet was the right flank. The king commanded them to meet at Prachinburi and to organize an independent force whereby Phrayarachanikul, Phrayaramkhamhaen, Phrayaintharathibodisrirachrongmeung, as well as Phrayachantaburi in command would proceed on to attack Champasakdi. But it turned out that the forces under the command of Krommeunsurinthornrak were not able to comply with the order because Chaophraya Nakhonsrithammarat sent a notice to Bangkok that said, British Send Emissary The British have assigned Harry Burney to come and arrange a treaty. The British are also preparing a fleet at Koh Mak (Phenang)so it is not known which side of the battle the British fleet will be on. King Rama III became uncertain as to the situation and thus commanded Krommeunsurinthornrak to return with his forces to Samutprakarn to guard the mouth of the Chao Phraya river, and assigned Phraya Rachasuphawadee as commander to proceed on to fight the rebels at Nakhonratchasima via Chaongreutaek. (Chongreutaek there is no evidence as to which route this was, as there were three main routes rising up through passes
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in Prachinburi [leading to Korat]. Locally the passes were known as Sakaerat Pass, Bukhanoon Pass and Tako Pass. Therefore Chongreutaek was likely to be one of these three. In historical documents issued by the Prime Ministers office in celebration of Bangoks 200th anniversary Chong Reu Taek is the route currently leading through Pakthongchai district.) Chaophraya Phaiphuthorn - in the lead - attacked Lomsak and other principalities and then joined royal forces in their attack against Vientiane, and requested an additional four armies to join him. Anuwongse Retreats from Korat When Chao Anuwongse discovered that armies had been raised in Bangkok [to fight against him] he did not stay around but withdrew his forces from Nakhonratchasima and fled to Chaiyaphum where he rested with his forces at Baan Thaen, and then set up garrisons to prevent the advancing Thai troops as follows: Chao Thongs corps at Phimai, Chao Rachawongses corps at Lomsak, Phrayachiengsas corps at Sanom, Chao Thongkhams corps at Chongwuataek, and Chaouparachs corps at Suwarnabhumi. As to forces under King Anuwongse they established themselves at Nong Bua Lamphu. When the army under Phraya Rachasuphawadee reached the city of Nakhonratchasima, they discovered that had almost all its inhabitants had fled into the hills and forests. So he assigned Phraya Nakhonratchasima to remain there and
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prevail upon the people to strengthen their resolve and confidence and to restore the city to order; further that the governor need not raise any additional forces to join the battle. Then Phraya Rachasuphawadee gathered forces to proceed on to Suvarnabhumi, knowing that Chao Thong, a nephew of King Anuwongse, was camped at Phimai. (In the meet, Chao Thongs forces completely collapsed.) Phraya Rachasuphawadee advanced his forces and established a permanent camp at Khon Kaen. He then tricked Anuwongses children and nephews into splitting apart, with troops officers mistrusting one another and retreating from rather than engaging in combat with the Thai forces. The Lao forces thus were in a state of turmoil. Phraya Rachasuphawadee then assembled forces and attacked the Lao camp at Wiengkhuk in Yasothon, capturing around one hundred relatives of the Lao royalty and taking them as prisoners. He then ordered his troops to rest at Yasothon in order to assemble more forces to further attack Champasakdi. During that time Chao Yo, ruler of Champasakdi, had set up a permanent camp at Sisaket. When he discovered that the Thais had raised forces, he assembled a large contingent at Ubolratchathani to hold back the Thais. He also had two of his younger brothers, Chao Pan and Chao Suwan, to command one force to hold position at Yasothon. When Phraya Rachasuphawadee saw the two camps he led in his forces to attack. The Lao forces quickly collapsed. Phraya Rachasuphawadee took his forces on to Ubolrachathani. At the same time the Thai families of Ubol, who had been herded together by the Lao and taken as
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prisoners to Champasakdi, when they heard that his Thai forces were nearby, the captives also decided to rebel against their captors, killing, injuring and chasing away the Lao. Together with local residents of other principalities in the area whose people had been herded together by the Champasakdi ruler at Ubonrachathani, they fought against their captors by setting fire to various structures until inside the camp things were completely confused. Phraya Rachasuphawadee entered with his forces and Chao Yo feared that he could not handle the rebellious locals and the Thai forces. So he assembled his troops and retreated to Champasakdi, with the principality of Ubonrachathani thus easily falling back into the hands of the Thai. When Phraya Rachasuphawadee had overcome the rebels at Ubonrachathani and had restored things to normal, he assembled forces and marched on to Champasakdi, surrounding the city, and without even entering it Champasakdi fell. He captured Chao Yo (ruler of Champasakdi) and Chao Pan, as well as Chao Suwan, to then prepare to send them on to Bangkok. Next Phraya Rachasuphawadee set up a permanent camp at Nakhon Phanom. When he received news that royal forces under Kromphrarachawangbavorn had to return to Bangkok, Phraya Rachasuphawadee hurried to meet with the commander there to receive orders, advice and hold discussions. Lomsak Attacked Troops under Chaophrayaaphaiphuthornsomunayoke moved on and attacked Lomsak and were able to scatter King
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Anuwongses Lao forces that had assembled there to forestall any such Thai advance. The Thais captured many of the Lao there, but the Lao royalty escaped. Chaophrayaaphaiphuthorn gathered his troops and combined them with the royal troops for a further attack on Vientiane. Kromphrarachawangbavorn then attacked Vientiane. When he arrived at Nong Bua Lampu he met the garrisoned Lao troops there. The Thai forces attacked and dispersed the Nong Bua Lampu Lao camp. King Anuwongse escaped through to Chongkhaep Khaosarn, crossed the Mekong River and returned to Vientiane. The Thai forces in pursuit followed King Anuwongse as far as Thung Lompoi and then set up camp there. King Anuwongse sent back forces and surrounded the Thai camp for seven days, attempting to gather sufficient forces to mount a successful attack but was not able to uproot the Thais. The Thai forces joined together and fought the Lao in hand to hand combat. The Lao forces then scattered but many of them were captured. King Anuwongse was frightened when he learned that the forces he sent to attack the Thai camp at Thung Lompoi had been broken up by the Thais. He lost any further thought of fighting. He hurriedly assembled his family members and escaped to Ngaenan in Vietnam, and thus the Thai forces easily captured Vientiane. Thais Build Chedi to Punish Anuwongse It was then that Kromphrarachawangbavorn became very cross with Chao Anuwongse. Even though he actually did not set foot inside Vientiane, he set up a camp at Baan Phan
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Phrao, located across from Vientiane. He then directed conscripts from the Thai forces to gather brick and construct a chedi as a reminder of the evil that King Anuwongse created. When it was completed Kromphrarachawangbavorn had the chedi inscribed with the words, Royal Chedi [commemorating] Subduing of Vientiane.

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The chedi conquering Thai forces had constructed in Vientiane. Illustration by Manit Lophinit From his book: History of Important Thai People: Thao Suranaree

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That King Anuwongse thought of being so audacious to the extent where he assembled an army to attack Thailandthis plan not only involved Nakhonratchasimahe was also determined to reach Bangkok. The plan was possible because he had received assistance from Vietnam, and so he thought that Thailand would be watching for a Burmese incursion from the west, and be on the watch for a British advance from the south and from the mouth of the Chao Phraya river. Thus King Anuwongse had the fortitude to slip through the crack.48 When King Anuwongse was not able to achieve his objectives, Vietnam immediately extended a helping hand, with Sattakhun Tienyen commander of the leading Vietnamese forces who received an order from the main Vietnamese commander Ongkingleuk that a letter should be written to the commander of the leading Thai forces that, Vientiane is a principality of Vietnam. That the Thai have now assembled forces and attacked Vientien has caused great stress and trouble for the people there. The chief commander Ongkingleuk thus has ordered that Thai forces withdraw from Vientiane and to return all the Lao families that have been taken prisoner. When Kromphrarachawangbavorn learned of the demand, he was not the least interested in it. Instead, he ordered Phrayaphechphichai and Phrayasombatboriban to split up and watch over Loei and Lomsak, replacing Chaophraya Aphaiphuthornsamunayoke who had been ill and had passed away during the fighting. Before returning to Bangkok, Kromphrarachawangbavorn assigned Phraya Rachasuphawadee to herd up all of the Lao family prisoners

By slipping through the crack, the author refers to a series of opportunities that had been created for the Lao ruler.
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and set up administration at Champasakdi. As to Vientiane, he again commanded that it be razed to the ground to prevent Anuwongse and his cohorts returning to use the city as a base for creating more ruin in the future. When they were finished Phraya Rachasuphawadee was to bring his troops back to Bangkok during the rainy season. KromPhrarachawangbavorn then took leave and returned to Bangkok somewhere near the month of August 1827. When he arrived in Bangkok he had an audience with King Rama III and delivered a report of the military movements, as well as providing opinions and appreciation of Phraya Rachasuphawadee who was steadfast in the war, able to deal with and quickly defeat the rebels. Therefore King Rama III commanded a ministerial directive to advance Phraya Rachasuphawadees title to Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee , entering it into the ministerial record in 1827. Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee (Sing Singsaenee) did not remain at the Lao capital to ensure things were completed, as he noted that the city was brimming with Thai troops so disbanded his own forces and returned to Bangkok. But just before that he assigned Thaophia Vientiane to remain behind and divide resources as appropriate, and after razing the city to return to Bangkok. Phraya Rachasuphawadee assigned Phrarachawarin (Pom) who was director of the palace external police to seek out and find Phrabang.49 Phrarachawarin found Phrabang in Glass Mountain cave in Vientiane, where monks had hidden the statue. Phrarachawarin thus concealed the statue on the

See, a Buddha statue

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believed to give its possessor the right to rule Laos.

back of an elephant and sent it to Bangkok, together with Phraya Rachasuphawadee on the 3rd of February 1828. Rama III Angered When Phraya Rachasuphawadee arrived and attended audience with Rama III, and had delivered a report to the king on the military operation, the king was angered that Phraya Rachasuphawadee had not yet razed Vientiane to the ground as he had intended, and counseled Anuwongse has not been captured yet, and its not clear whether he is going to go back home again or not. Vientiane has been the location of two rebellions already and it is not appropriate that it be left intact to once again become a home [for trouble making]. It must be destroyed and must not be left standing. Therefore the king thus ordered Phraya Rachasuphawadee to raise a force and return to Vientiane to destroy the city. As to the Buddha statue that Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee had brought down from Vientien, at the present time it was not to be presented to the king and was not thus accepted for deposit in the palace. Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee returned to Vientien once again as ordered. He also then deposited the Buddha statue in the pagoda at Wat Jakrawankirachawat (Wat Sam Plam) instead. His return to the city was not in the manner of an armed force as before. Most of his troops had gone to Nakhonratchasima and Phu Khiew because he only planned to raze Vientiane to the ground [and not to engage in any major battles.]
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When he reached Nong Bua Lamphu he assigned Phraracharongmeung, Phrayaphichaisongkram, Phraythukarrat and Luang Suraenthorn as commanders of the leading force of 500 troops, with himself in overall command, these forces being assembled at Baan Phan Phrao. Price of Disobedience His three commanders crossed the Mekong River with their troops toward Vientiane to hold discussions with Thaophiakromkarnmeung Vientiane whom Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee had assigned to remain in charge of the city. But it developed that of the Thai troops that had crossed the river only two or three escaped and returned, and the others were captured by the Vientiane Laotians. When Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee knew that Thaophia, in charge of Vientiane, had changed his position in this manner, he grew uncertain of the situation and ordered Phraracharongmeung to separate 300 troops with Phrayaphichaisongkram, Phrayathukkarat and Luangsuraenthornwichit in front commanding the troops to cross the Mekong River and quickly move into Vientiane. The leading Thai troops reached Vientiane in August, there receiving a royal dispatch which read, The ruler of Vietnam has already dispatched troops to King Anuwongse and Chao Rachabutr, and within four nights will reach Vientiane. Phrayaphichaisongkram, Phrayathukkarat and Luangsuraenthornwichit, the Thai commanders, believed that the Vietnamese were approaching in a friendly manner and could be negotiated with using reason. They also
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believed that the Thai king had likely received a royal pleading for pardon, in which it was declared in the said letter that King Anuwongse is in the wrong and has fled to Vietnam. Vietnam has a role as mother, and in the same fashion, Bangkok has a role as father, and [the situation] is like that of a father angry with his child. The childs mother must protect her child and bring the child to ask for forgiveness. And when Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee reaches Vientiane, he shall bring [Anuwongse] back to Bangkok for punishment. As to Vietnam, it shall also issue a royal message asking for royal forgiveness and deliver it to King Rama III. The three commanders thus did not suspect nor were wary of Chao Rachawongse who was not acting unusual in any manner. They easily agreed to receive the large amount of food that was offered to them by the Lao commander. They rested and waited for King Anuwongse to return to Vientiane. They also notified Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee and then let their troops relax and go off duty, and did not make any defense preparations whatsoever. On the same day at approximately four in the afternoon King Anuwongse arrived with his troops and surrounded the Thai forces. Phrayaphichaisongkram, Phrayathukkarat and Luangsuraenthornwichit, the Thai commanders, had no warning at allthey were all killed on the spot. Of the Thai troops that were now scattered and in flight, they ran to the Mekong River to board boats, finding that the Lao soldiers had already been there and taken them. The Thai troops thus jumped into the Mekong waters toward the Thai side of the bank. But the Lao soldiers raced behind
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in boats in hot pursuit, hacking and stabbing the fleeing Thais. The only ones to survive were Meunraksanawaet and about 40-50 Thai troops who had hung onto logs until they were able to arrive and report the events to the main commander.

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Thai forces fleeing Vientiane across the Mekong River. Illustration by Manit Lophinit From his book: History of Important Thai People: Thao Suranaree

When Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee received notice from Phrayaphichaisomgkram, he quickly raised troops from the
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camp at Nong Bua Lampu, beginning on the morning of Friday the 31st of July 1827. Finally on the morning of 1 August 1827, at three in the afternoon, Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee reached the Phran Phrao camp. It was then that he saw the situation that the Thai forces had met along the Lao border, and knew that the Thai side had been defeated by Anuwongses forces. He wanted to send reinforcements but had few troops, and as for boats to cross the riverthere were none. When evening came Meunraksanawaet who had survived the fighting in Vientiane returned and gave his report to Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee. When the Laotians (at Nakhonratchasima) who had been captured found that the Thais had been defeated by the Vientiane Lao they mostly escaped and fled the city. Phrayachiengsakhunnanglao thus advised Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee that, Its better to withdraw Thai forces back to Yasothon to confront the Laotians. With no boats to cross the Mekong and few troops, Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee agreed with the advice and assembled his forces for the retreat. Phrayachiengsakhunnanglao assembled the forces and reached Yasothon that night. The Vietnamese observed that Anuwongse and his forces had created a great deal of confusion and acted against what had been ordered by the ruler of Vietnam. 50 Both sides became unhappy, so the Vietnamese then returned to Ngae Ann. A letter was also sent to the Vietnamese capitol. When Anuwongse saw that most of the Vietnamese had left, he then directed Chao Rachawongse to take troops across the

The author mentions this but does not clarify.

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river and capture Phrayachiengsakhunnanglao at Yasothon, as well as to remove the chedi erected by the Thais that had commemorated the defeat of Vientiane, and to restore the Buddha statue to its original place in Vientiane. Udornthani Battle When Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee learned that Anuwongse had massed troops to pursue him, he gathered his own forces to meet the advancing Laotians. The two sides joined combat at Tambol Pokwaan near Udornthani on Saturday 18 October 1827. The fighting turned into hand to hand combat, with Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee fighting with Chao Rachawongse. By chance Chaophraya Rachasuphawadees horse stepped into a paddy dike, losing its balance and falling onto his leg. Chao Rachawongse immediately saw the development and drew his spear thrusting toward Chaophraya Rachasuphawadees mid-section. But Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee sidestepped and the lance missed his stomach, instead ripping through his clothing, and the spear stuck into the ground. Chao Rachawongse attempted to draw out the spear and thrust to stab once more but Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee grabbed the spears staff and attempted to pull out his personal ceremonial knife to stab his foe. As to Chao Rachawongse, he could not bring the spear out of the ground.

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Thai and Lao officers fight hand-to-hand, A.D. 1827. Illustration by Manit Lophinit From his book: History of Important Thai People: Thao Suranaree

So he then drew a sword hanging near his horses neck to strike at Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee. Luangphipich (Muang) younger brother of Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee saw the Lao move and forced his way forward and took the brunt of the Laos sword, dying on the spot from the blow.
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While they were fighting, Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee was able to draw his ceremonial knife and slash at Chao Rachawongse, inflicting a deep gash in the Laotians leg51. Chao Rachagonse fell from his horse bleeding profusely. The Lao forces saw their leader fall, and fearing for his life hurried to the spot and took him away with them as they fled. Chao Rachawongse reached Vientiane and reported to King Anuwongse that The Thai forces are very strong. Lao forces joined combat but were not able to scatter the Thais. If we return we will face defeat and lose our troops. That some of us survived was because we fled in fear. I was wounded and am of the opinion that we should flee and ask for Vietnams protection once again. King Anuwongse listened to the speech and became frightened. He hurriedly gathered his family together, fleeing Vientiane into Vietnam, reaching there sometime in the morning of Sunday 19 October 1827. And the same day Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee assembled troops to follow, setting up camp at Baan Phan Phrao. He ordered commanders to take a force of 600 troops to cross the Mekong River to Vientiane to capture Anuwongse and his forces. As it turned out that Anuwongse had fled to Vietnam, the only ones remaining in Vientiane were Chaosutthisarn, Anuwongse son and nephews together with several others. Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee thus took them as prisoners and then sent them on to Bangkok.


A separate historical account maintains that Chao Rachawongse was shot instead.
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Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee then returned to Vientiane with his forces and tore down fortresses, fences and major facilities of the Vientiane Lao as ordered by King Rama III. The only thing spared was the temples. During this time Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee had others inquire as to Anuwongses and Chao Rachawongses whereabouts. He also had troops round up the Laotian families and crossed the Mekong, joining other forces at the Baan Phran Phrao camp to wait to send them on to Bangkok. This was part of the Thai strategy was to forestall Anuwongse from using the people to reinforce his troops. Anuwongse Captured and Delivered to Enemy Subsequently the ruler of Vietnam sent a communications on to Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee imploring him to abstain punishing Anuwongse and his followers. But Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee was not interested, as he had already once lost his leading forces in battle. And around December of that same year, the rulers of Phuan and Luang Phrabang joined together and captured Anuwongse and his followers at the Hai River near Kai mountain, close to Phuan city. They thus notified Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee who ordered military staff to proceed and take custody of Anuwongse and another eight with him. They were delivered to Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee at Vientiane on 21 December 1827. As to Chao Rachawongse, he was not located, and had disappeared while traveling with Anuwongse as they were fleeing. Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee assigned Phrayaanurakkosa and Phrayayothasongkram to be in charge of the force guarding

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Anuwongse and the citys families who had been captured to remain at Baan Phan Phrao camp. They traveled down to Bangkok at the beginning of January 1829. At the time Phraya Phichaiwaree also took the families and set up at Saraburi where they made provisions for the troops. When Phrayaanurakkosa and Phrayatyothasongkram had taken custody of Anuwongse and the Vientiane Lao families had arrived, Phrayaphichaiwaree helped to construct a cage for Anuwongse in the center of a boat they used to travel downriver to Bangkok, arriving 15 January 1829. Anuwongses Cell King Rama III ordered Anuwongse taken to be imprisoned at Police Team 8. The king commanded that a cell be made with four sides of steel bars to hold Anuwongse, as well as thirteen other smaller cells for Anuwongses children and wives. Each cell came complete with mortar and pestle for pulverizing [food, etc.], hooks to hang things on, pots to boil food, a hatchet, a saw, and a tripod for sheathing [tools, etc.]. Mornings officials would open up the cages of Anuwongse and his seven children Chao Yo (ruler of Champasakdi), Chao Po, (Sutthisarn) Chao Tae, Chao Pan, Chao Khuangjan, Chao Suwanjak, and Chao Pan as well as Anuwongses four concubines five other nieces and nephews, taking the total of seventeen to place in a large cell. They had Nang Khamplong, a concubine, hold a fan and fan Anuwongse in his cell. It was in honor52 of his wanting to be

Actually, mock honor to drive the point home, as the Siamese were very angry at having been insulted with Anuwongses trickery and
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ruler of the land. They also had his minor wives, who had been sent down later by Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee , dress up and carry wicker baskets with rice and food to feed Anuwongse in his cell, which was located in the center of Sanam Luang near (the World War I Victory Monument). In the afternoons when the heat of day began to recede, officials would then take Anuwongses male children and nephews stand on gibbets all in a row and publicly proclaim their own guilt. When evening approached they would be taken down and taken back to their cells at Police Team Eight. While the prisoners were in their cells, the public both men and women crowded together to go and look at the prisoners. Those whose children, husbands and relatives who had to die in the fighting would repeatedly curse, shout vile things and spit at the prisoners. As to those who were not burdened by revenge or who had not lost any relatives in the struggles, they saw that it was all fun and to see Anuwongse and the others up on gibbets and to loudly proclaim their guilt, it was all the more fun. They would go over and look at this one and then come back and look at that onethis went on from morning to night.

betrayed, as they felt, by trust given to him.

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Chao Anuwongse in his cell, attended by a wife and coughing up blood. Illustration by Manit Lophinit From his book: History of Important Thai People: Thao Suranaree

The Lao King Dies Anuwongse remained imprisoned like this for some seven or eight days before taking ill, deteriorating and coughing up blood until dying. He was sixty years old.

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Rama III ordered his body to be taken and humiliatingly impaled and displayed at Lamrae. According to tradition, Anuwongses family members would all be executed. But since Anuwongse had died, things calmed down and his family, children and nephews were spared and kept in prison for a time before being released.

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Post-victory honors Illustration by Manit Lophinit From his book: History of Important Thai People: Thao Suranaree

Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee remained to deal with things in Laos, Vientiane and Champasakdi and Khmer Padong until they were settled. When he saw that everything was stabilized he led some of his troops back into Bangkok, and was granted an audience with Rama III in 1829. He delivered a complete political situation report as ordered. King Rama III afterward awarded Chaophraya Rachasuphawadee with the title of Chaophrayabadidechanuchit, and the position of Samunayoke. He was fifty three years old. As to other military officers and commanders, they were all awarded appropriately. For the rulers of towns and principalities involved that had formerly been vassals of Vientiane, the king ordered that they should all raise a central shrine Thao Phraya, which was connected with fidelity to the Thai administration, as well as to place it in Luangpra Bang in replacement. Korat Families Return to City As to the political situation in Nakhonratchasima, when Anuwongse had completely withdrawn his forces in the face of the Thai troops, toward the end of 1826, Phraya Palat [the deputy governor], that is, Phrayasuriadetrhytthitwichai, together with Khun Ying Mo broke camp at Tung Samrit and accompanied all the families and others that had fled the Lao invasion back to Nakhonratchasima to resume life.
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When things there had returned to as before and normality had been restored, Nakhonratchasima wrote a letter of notification of this to Bangkok. When King Rama III became aware of this he graciously conferred upon Khun Ying Mo the title of Thao Suranaree, as well as a gold medal of rank in honor of her deeds on 1826. She was at the time fifty eight years old. As to the deputy governor (Thong Kham), and husband of Khun Ying Mo, when he had completed government service under Rama III, he was graciously awarded recognition by King Rama IV as Chaophrayamhisrathibodee, and occupied the position as government adviser in Nakhonratchasima. According to ancient traditions of those who have been war veterans, when there has been victory or when one was able to live through [a major conflict], they would receive a royally-conferred promotion in rank. Therefore it was appropriate that there be some commemoration on the behalf of those who survived, and it would serve to cleanse the sins of the enemies that resulted in so much physical and personal loss. Because of these considerations, Thao Suranaree (Mo) and (Thong Kham) who were living in a village across from Wat Phranarai Maharat (Wat Klang) both together donated toward construction of a new temple [in commemoration], Wat Salaloi. During Thao Suranarees entire life while she was with her husband Chaophrayamhisrathibodee, she was unable to provide any children. She died during the reign of King Rama IV in April 1852, at age eighty one, and her husband enshrined her ashes in a chedi at Wat Salaloi.
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Subsequently the chedi that held her ashes began to deteriorate, and Col. Phraya Singsenee (Saad Singsanee) while he was director of Phrayaprasit Sinpakokrn (Director of Fine Arts), retired Nakhonratchasima civil servant, privy councilor and minister of parliament donated materials - a small four-sided khu and new top for the chedi that enshrined Thao Suranarees remains, and relocated it all to the center of the temple (Watphranarai Maharat), to the northeast direction, and completed construction on 7 June 1899. Subsequently the government administration changed and in 1932 the Baworadech53 Revolt took place, with the Thao Suranaree shrine subsequently becoming neglected. Thao Suranaree Monument Built Italian Sculptor It wasnt until 1934 that Col. Phrarerngrukpaccamitr (Thong Raksangop) commander of Army Region 5, and Phrayakamthornphayapthit (Dis Insol), governor of Nakhonratchasima, together with civil servants and the people of the city, observed that the shrine with the remains of Thao Suranaree that had been moved to the center of the temple had again deteriorated, as well noting that it was in a narrow area, not appropriate for holding ceremonies in [her] honor. They thus decided to erect a statue of Thao Suranaree, bringing her ashes to the new foundation in front of Chumpol Gate, and assigned the division of handicrafts of the Department of Fine Arts to design a statue, whereby professor Sil Phirasri54 worked together with Phrathewaphinimitlap a craftsman at the Department of Fine arts to carry out the work. The statue of Thao Suranaree was

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done in ancient dress, standing atop a pedestal. Her left hand was placed on her waist and in her right hand she held a sword. The statue was completed in 1934 and registered as a reverential shrine on 3 January 1937.

Corrado Feroci, later renamed Sil Phirasri, Italian Sculptor of the model used for the Thao Suranaree monument and artist of many other major Thai monuments.


Actually this gentleman was an Italian sculptor who had attended and later taught at the Florence Academy of Fine Arts.
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The statue of Thao Suranaree is cast in blackened copper, 1.65 meters in height, weighs 325 kilograms, and shows 55 Thao Suranarees hairstyle as dokkrathumthornrai dressed with the decorations conferred by King Rama III, gold-pleated dress girded with belt, gold thread- lined breastcloth hung over her left side, wearing earrings, three small rolled auspicious amulets over her breast cloth. Her small and middle fingers on each hand bore rings, and again the right hand is grasping a sword. The carved sword handle is within a carved scabbard, its end in contact with the ground. With her left hand on her waist her head is slightly bent down, facing the west, Thao Suranaree indicates respect to their Majesties the king and the queen.


Refer to Anthocephalus chinensis, native to the Himalayan region but found in several Southeast Asian nations, a tree with a round and open crown; its fresh leaves are fed to cattle and the main plant and its leaves have various industrial and domestic uses.
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Chumpol Gate, directly behind Thao Suranaree monument

In the background there is a archway and ancient city wall (Chumpol Gate). The statue of Thao Suranaree is atop a square foundation, raised 2.5 meters, and above four-sided pavilion lighting. Altogether from the sidewalk up there are three separate levels.

This birds eye view, taken from the top floor of New Klang Shopping center parking area, shows clearly the three levels of the monument, with Chumpol Gate behind Thao Suranarees statue. Photo by Frank G Anderson.

The first level consists of stairs on all four sides, paved with marble and with lighting all around. The second level is for worshipping, and has flame clusters in each of the four corners.

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The third level is for placing of materials used in paying respect to Thao Suranaree, and these are located to the west of the statue. There is also a smaller statue of Thao Suranaree directly in front of the larger one, this used by patrons for pasting gold leaf during merit making. There is a copper plate on the west side of the Thao Suranaree statue pedestal, inscribed with a twenty one verse Thai language record of her heroic deeds. One the back of the pedestal is another copper plate, also in the shape of Sema, inscribed with a twenty four verse history of Thao Suranaree. Also at the back of the statue are two marble slates inscribed both with the record of her heroic deeds and her history. The information matches that on the Sema [temple marker] -shaped plates. When the Suranaree memorial was completed it was moved and installed at Chumpol56 Gate. Government officials in Nakhonratchasima held opening ceremonies on 15 January 1934, and arranged inaugural celebration ceremonies on 23 March 1934, lasting seven days and seven nights (together with a ceremony to cremate bodies of the Baworadet [rebellion57] as well.) As well, at this ceremony people from all around Nakhonratchasima and nearby provinces came to pay their respects. When 1967 arrived the foundation around the monument in which Thao Suranarees ashes were enshrined once more became dilapidated. The government and people of Nakhonratchasima, headed by governor Suwat Wongpatithat, worked together in building a new monument
56 57

The word chumphol derives from phol troops, and chum gather/meet, thus a meeting place for troops. Refer to Wiki at
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at the original location in order to provide appropriate reverence for the heroic woman. The new monument Thao Suranaree - continually a heroine of all Thais - was completed on 29 November 1967.

Relocated but very revered, the monument of Thao Suranaree is set in the heart of Thailands second-largest city of Korat.

The Thao Suranaree monument is a respected monument for the people of Nakhonratchasima and places nearby. Thus the government has ensured that celebrations in her honor take place around March of each year. It is deemed to be an important celebration for Nakhonratchasima province. As well, Thao Suranarees victory is also occasion to celebrate Thailands Volunteers to Protect the Nation day. Lady Mo Had No Children

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Thao Suranaree did not have any children or a remaining father to verify lineage. But one line of relations later received a royal honor of being given a surname during Rama VIs reign, the name being Inthornkamhaeng. And of these relatives was one who reached the rank of general. During the current dynasty [Rama IX] the family requested and received royal approval to add the suffix Na Ratchasima onto its surname, and unto current times the familys surname is known in full as Inthornkamhaeng Na Ratchasima. Bibliography The following author-cited references appear on page 80 of the authors Thai language book, and are translated into English for readership use. Note that scholars would have to have some fundamental skill in reading Thai to search for and access the actual material. History of Important People Royal Works History of Chaophrayadinthorn Royal Works History of chaophrayadinthorndecha Department of Fine Arts Travel Phimai and Ancient Monuments in Nakhonratchasima Province, by the Department of Fine Arts, 1961. Monuments, Or. Sor. Thor. Magazine, a monthly Thai language travel publication. Year, 19, issue no. 7, February 1979 Monuments, Or. Sor. Thor., Year 22, issue no. 9, April 1982. Traditional history meeting, What You Should Know of Thailand, by Krung Thai, 1982

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Outstanding Thao People of Courage, by Ajarn Charoen Chaichana, Office of Sermwitbannakaan Printing Courageous Family Beginnings in Thailand, by Ajarn Saetheun Supsophol Thai History, by Ajarn Saetheun Supsophol, 1967 Letter of Explanation, on the matter of putting down the Vientien rebellion, celebrating the 200th Rattanakosin Anniversary of the Office of the Prime Minister, 1982. Monuments to Thai Heroes, by the Department of Curriculum, Ministry of Education, 1977. Art and Culture, Year 4, Issue 10, August 1983. Art and Culture, Year 5, Issue 11, June 1984. Art and Culture, Year 7, Issue 10, August 1985. Translators Added Bibliographical References and Sources The website owner Paola Gianturco, is a well-known documentary photographer, and has sponsored the cause of women worldwide for quite a long time. Her book, Celebrating Women, available at, briefly cites Lady Mo, Tung Samrit and the razing of Vientiane. Paolas photos have appeared in numerous international publications and used by various agencies. Translators Addendum The following material was provided to me back in 2001 by the then provincial governor Soontorn Riwleung to assist in translation as part of Thao Suranaree celebrations to be held the next year. When it was delivered translated, local officials lost the entire material, and neither provincial nor
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municipal officials had ever coordinated to include it in any material for Lady Mo commemorations. I then placed it online on the Korat Post website, and provide it here for both comparative and informative purposes. Finally, despite asking the Nakhonratchasima municipality formally for information and old photos to be used with this book, two weeks after the request, on 8 June 2009, staff at the municipality clearly indicated they had done nothing to accommodate the request. And further, that they were not interested. This was an unfortunate experience but fairly representative of the way things work in Thailand. Lady Mo History Translation of Thao Suranaree Biographical History Original Thai Version material provided by Nakhonratchasima Provincial Governors Office, August 25, 2004 and subsequently lost by the new incoming Administration who later remained nonresponsive when asked what happened to it. The English translation was requested by October 25, 2004, and delivered well before then. Section 1 - Details of Lady Mos Parents Thao Suranaree, whose original name was Mo, was born in BE 2314. Her fathers name was Mr. Kim, her mothers name was Mrs. Boonma. Thao Suranaree was a native of Nakhonratchasima by birth, and lived across from a temple in the heart of Nakhonratchasima (Wat Phranaraimaharat). In the year BE 2339 (AD 1796), at age 25, Mo married Mr. Thongkham, of the provincial political affairs office. Subsequently Mr. Thongkham changed position to become
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the Nakhonratchasima principality secretary of political affairs, or deputy governor, in a position considered to be equivalent to the rank of a noble. The people of Nakhonratchasima preferred to address him more formally but they also reported he like to use the less formal Phrayapalat. The people called his wife Mo, then later Mae, and then finally Mae Mo. Currently she is called by the name Ya Mo, or Khun Ya, but the most popular name is Ya Mo. Khun Ying Mo was a person of high intelligence. She also was an accomplished rider of both elephants and horses. Her favorite horse was black. Khun Ying Mo was a faithful follower of Buddhism, and liked taking her children and nephews and nieces to Wat Sakaew and Wat Isan regularly. Section 2 - Heroic Deeds of Khun Ying Mo In BE 2369, Prince Anuwongse of Vientiane revolted and led an army to seize Nakhonratchasima. At that time, Phrayasuriyadej was away on business to Khukhan, leaving behind only minor officials of the political affairs department. The Vientiane troops easily entered and seized Nakhonratchasima, overrunning the small number of defenders, including Khun Ying Mo, and herding them together to march back to Vientiane. Khun Ying Mo sagaciously instilled morale and heart in the captive people of Nakhonratchasima. She did everything to make the Lao soldiers sympathetic to their Thai captives. She also found ways to delay the journey, such as claiming that captives were sick or that a cart had broken and needed repair. She was also simultaneously holding secret talks. She
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asked [her captors] for axes to repair broken carts, or to cut brush for firewood, etc., in order that the captives would have these tools when needed. Khun Ying Mo ordered that wood sticks be gathered and sharpened with axes, and that hoes be used as well in place of weapons [when the time arrived]. Upon reaching Tung Samrit, Khun Ying Mo, with a strategy in mind, asked her captors to allow the marchers to rest so that their sore muscles could recover from the long journey, and the Lao commanders allowed this. After setting up camp at Tung Samrit, Phrayahrom, Phrayapalat and Khun Ying Mo commanded that a group of young women lure the Lao soldiers outside the camp. Kitchen staff remained in camp. At this time, male kitchen staff separated into groups with a number of weapons they had made or secretly taken. Junior political affairs department staff took the left and right flanks. Phrayapalat acted as commander of the main force. Khun Ying Mo acted as head of a group of skilled women in a reserve force. After some time passed, all those who had prepared rushed together at the same time, shouting and cheering, chopping at the Lao soldiers and scattering them in confusion. The Lao soldiers had no idea of the impending attack, and fell and died or scattered away. Thus the following verse was authored to honor the people of Nakhonratchasima, by Phraya Upakitsin: Poem Commemorating Tung Samrit Battle In sudden rush, jabbing quickly Men leading and women in reserve Men charging and women pushing forward,
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Together confronting, spreading Women of stout heart --- Lao soldiers Without spears they used axes, Without swords they used sticks and clubs big and long, They struck and lashed, annihilating the Lao soldiers A stampede in the border jungle. From: Verse Honoring the People of Nakhonratchasima Section 3 Decorations for Heroine After the battle was over, His Majesty the King conferred the title of Thao Suranaree on Khun Ying Mo. Six years after the battle ended, in the year B.E. 2375 (1832) Thao Suranaree and Phrayapalat produced a book and presented it to Wat Isan as a way of commemorating the event. The book that was presented to the temple. It was made out of twenty palm leaves, written in Khmer and Bali and Thai script and with a vermillion design on gold leaf. Currently this ancient document is retained in the Nakhonratchasima Chalermphrakieti National Library. Head of the librarys documents section Mr. Somchai Faksuwan stated that Wat Isan donated the document to the National Library, and that there is clearly legible writing that reads Phaya Palat, Khun Ying Mo, produced upon the passing of the king, in B.E. 2375, Pii Marong. Thao Suranaree Passes Away

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When Thao Suranaree passed away n B.E. 2395 (1852) at age 71, her surviving husband Chaophrayamahisarathibodee enshrined her remains in a chedi he built at Wat Salaloi. Section 4 - Residence of Thao Suranaree: Testimony from foster children From the memoirs of Acharn Ladawan Wannabun (Jitasombat) former director of the Nakhonratchasima Elementary school, fifth generation grandchild of Thao Suranaree, who stated that her mothers ancestry, who investigated her roots, stated that her ancestry can be traced back to a foster child of Thao Suranaree, as Thao Suranaree had no children of her own. Thao Suranaree therefore took in a niece, by the name of Boonma, to rear as her own child. Boonma had one child, Nang Nuu Uan, who in turn married Phraphichaisongkranpol. They had one child, named Luang Sathonsapkit (Ud Chatawaraha), who married Mrs. Jaem. They had six children, as follows: Lineage of Thao Suranaaree Foster Children 1. Mrs. Lukjan (Chatawaraha) who married Luang Rachathura (Inthornkamhaeng) 2. Mrs. Tongmee (Chatawaraha) who married Khunwannawutwijarn (Tongpaan Jitasombat) 3. Mr. Sorn Chatawaraha who married Mrs. Tongjeu maiden name Prayong 4. Mr. Sangiem Chatawaraha who married Mrs. Num 5. Mrs. Cheuyn (Chatawaraha) who married Luangphraphannittisart (Kree Sornsing) 6. Mr. Thanom Chatawaraha who married Mrs.Liap maiden name Maenaruj and Mrs. Tongkham. Mrs. Tongkham had
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the second child of Luangphraphannittisart who married Khunwannawutwijarn (Tongpaan Jitasombat) and they had six children, as follows: 1. Mr. Niphol Jitasombat, who married Mrs. Sri; they had one child. 2. Mrs. Jaras Maneesuwan, who married Mr. Anand Maneesuwan; they had three children. 3. Mr. Charoen Jitasombat 4. Mrs. Ladawan Wannabun who married veterinarian Suwn Wannabun they had no children. 5. Miss Aree Jitasombat 6. N.A. Wijit Jitasombat who married Mrs. Uthaiwan they had three children. Acharn Ladawan Wannaboon wrote that she was raised by her aunt Jaem Chatawaraha because her mother had to travel with her father who traveled from province to province in government service. As she was being raised, her aunt told her details of Thao Suranaree, as follows Section 5 - Thao Suranaree Residence in Korat The residence of Thao Suranaree was the area and home where Luangphraphannittisart and Aunt Jaem lived, and which fell into the hands of the fifth generation descendents who now live in it. Originally the north property line was next to Wat Phranaraimaharat (Wat Klang). It was an area next to the wat pond where there was a betel garden for eating betel nut. Later authorities requested the property to build a market. It was called Phranarai Market. The reason that it was thus named was a Phranarai shrine standing, and later when Chumpol Road had to be cut, land belonging to
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Khun Ying Mo the north side which bordered the road, the southern side which bordered Mahadthai Road, the each which bordered a public way, and the west side which bordered private property. There were 7.1.57 rai total. According to the property deed issued to Luang Sathonsanprakit , son of Phraphichai Songkramphol and Mrs. Nuu Uan Phichaisongkramphol, in the property there was an earthen home, behind which was a well (the well is still there). The southern side adjacent to Mahadthai Road had a large pond named Maew Pond (now filled in), where Khun Ying Mo and her children/grandchildren celebrated Songkran. Awards Given to Thao Suranaree Gold insignia of rank graciously conferred on Thao Suranaree were cited as follows: One gold tray for betel One gold betel cup Three gold boxes vine design Gold water pot Gold basin Betel envelope Royal decorations received are as follows: Gold hemmed sarong Gold lined blouse Sash blanket (a kind of shawl) Gold lined breast cloth Luang Sathonsappakit (Ud Chatawaraha) was a descendent who inherited the land, insignia and decorations. Aunt Jaem
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also willed separate items to Acharn Ladawan Warrabun and N.A. Wijin Jitasombat, comprising one gold tray, a set of two betel cups, three vine design inlaid gold boxes, one gold vine design inlaid envelop. N.A. Wijin Jitasombat received one gold water bowl, an assortment of decorations from the fourth great-grandchild named Chalaem, said to have seen a monk take the material and cut it into a bag which later became dilapidated. Section 6 - Construction of the Thao Suranaree Monument The individual who sculpted the statue was named Mrs. Nim, wife of Phra Bunkhamborinak whose name was also that of a four-way intersection, southerly one down from Lak Muang. It was called Bunkham Intersection, since his home was in the area. Those who were able to substantiate so stated that Mrs. Nim was the model for another statue of Thao Suranaree victory Monument as per Miss Benjang Intsol. The reason for using Mrs. Nim as the model may have been because it was desired to have the statue with the image of a woman of Korat with [characteristics described] by her children who passed them up through Mos grandfather. As well, the craftsman skill was so as to have the statue appropriate to that of a heroine. When Thao Suranaree died in BE 2395 (AD 1852), Chao Phraya Mahismathipodi had the body cremated and then built a chedi and placed the bones in it was Wat Salaloi. Subsequently, the urn of the remains at Wat Salaoloi became dilapidated and lie in waste. Col. Phraya Sungsaenee, when at the time carrying the rank and title of Phraya Prasitisankul, retired from government service as Nakonratchasima provincial governor and built a temple at
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the former one of Wat Pharanarai Maharat, NW, then invited the urn of Thao Suranaree to be established there in BE 2443 (RS 117, AD 1900). Later, Phraya Kamtorn Phayaphit (Dis Intasolos) and Phrarerng Rukpatjamitr (Thong Rak Sanjob) considered. They noted that the chedi holding the urn/ashes of Lady Mo bones at Wat Phranarai Maharat was decomposing, so they sought another appropriate place, that is, in the area of Chumpol Gate. After installing the victory Monument, Thao Suranarees bones were placed in the monument foundation. After BE 2510, the monuments foundation was raised. Mr. Sorn Chatasuaisha, who was the fourth great-great grandchild, asked to be given some of Thao Suranarees bones, from the Nakhonratchasima provincial governor, to enshrine them in the chedi east of an old Buddhist chapel at Wat Salaloi. Currently Thao Suranarees bones are at Wal Salaloi and are paid constant respect by the people. Section 7 - Fable, Fiction, Fact Thao Suranaree and Peoples Beliefs Peoples beliefs are acceptance of something existing in ones consciousness, such as from a supernatural power that is either good or bad for the individual. Even though these supernatural beliefs may not be able to be proven true, people in society accept them and give respect, stand in awe, praise, prostrate in worship and entreat. Groups or people so prostrate to pray to heaven to enable oneself to share some of that supernatural power, giving rise to love, to pity, to not being angry or not to do harm, as well as to gain some benefit.

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There are two levels of belief; that is, a part of religion that is a belief with a reason, able to explain what one is uncertain of - that is a guide including a guide for life. The second level of belief is local belief, that is, when investigated, is found to be practiced according to tradition. In regard to Thao Suranaree, the general public has the latter belief. Thao Suranaree is a great heroine. Her bravery and ability, restraint, sacrifice for her nation was an inspiration at Tung Samrit. Her bravery is the pride of the people of Nakhonratchasima. This pride and impression makes her almost a family heroine. Thus the people of Korat are partly her children, partly her grandchildren, and have a connection with Thao Suranaree that is one of trust and fond memory. Therefore, when passing Thao Suranarees monument, everyone will wai in request for a blessing from her automatically. She is thus truly an important person belonging to all of the people. Section 8 Sacred but with history Thao Suranaree is a sacred and precious spirit of Nakhonratchasima, caring for, shielding, protecting, that her children and grandchildren will have happiness, progress, enjoy success, even if they are not native Koratians, she will give good luck to them as well. With the installation of the Thao Suranaree monument in BE 2477 (1934) ceremonies were held commemorating and offering sacrifice to her spirit in Heaven. It was decided that 23 March would be the official date of celebrating victory

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over the Vientiane enemy, and it has been so up to the present. These ceremonies changed Thao Suranaree from being an ordinary person to that of a saint. That the government and the people have incorporated these ceremonies has changed Thao Suranaree into a figure of worship, of prayer, giving success hoped for. As well, there is the redeeming of vows to her spirit through Phaleng Korat (the Korat Song), whereas the Korat Song has never diminished from the area of the Thao Suranaree victory monument. The ceremony of Thao Suranarees sacrifice on 23 March 2477, is both a Buddhist and a Brahmin one. In regard to the Brahmin part, a sacred command is read. Part of it speaks of inviting her spirit to visit so that her children and grandchildren can offer sacrifices, and for her to receive these sacrifices. As well, she is called Phra Mae Thaan, which is a title of high esteem whereas [she is seen] as a guardian spirit, one [indicated in] the sacred command, upon the occasion where government officials, merchants, and the people have happiness, e jubilant, elated and inspired, rejoicing in devotion, joining to build her victory monumentto increase devotion to the fullest, as well as her prestige, and thus ask her to appear during the ceremony so that here descendents can offer sacrifices and pay respects. She is invited to visit and receive delicious food to enjoy, which includes swine head, auspicious rice, papaya salad, duck, chicken, shrimp and fish, minced fish and fruit, chowchow, oiy bananas, as well as sweets tomdaeng, tomkhao, as well as liquor, inviting her, Phra Mae Thaan, to visit andeat, and when she is finished eating the meal, to invoke a blessing that all of her descendents may continually receive more than ample possessions, be safe and devoid of disease
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that would disturb them, to experience happiness, prosperity, stability, many accomplishments, to live to a long life..(Public Record 2540:90) whereby the ceremonies in offering respect to Thao Suranaree have become an annual event. Currently it causes those who take part in the ceremonies to believe that Thao Suranaree has the standing of a guardian saint that visits the Thao Suranaree victory monument in waiting to help, guard and oversee the city and the people so that they live in happiness, safety and are free from all harm. Section 9 - Lady Mos Power Ya Mos power always manifests itself to government officials and to the general public. For example, Mr. Damrong Ratanaphanich, while he was serving as governor of Nakhonratchasima, said that The top of the Moon River Dam was about to collapse on 24 October 2533 (AD 1940). I asked Lady Mo for assistance in prevailing against the water so that the dam would not collapse. I asked fleeing villagers to seek higher ground, but then the dam did not collapse. I swear that it was a miracle of Thao Suranarees (or Lady Mos) spirit. Say that it was deep belief n Ya Mo. There was an experience that should be written down and remembered: that is in 2529 (AD 1936), when I was serving as serving as provincial governor for Nakhonratchasima, I was on my way to accept a new post in the Justice Department in Bangkok. My wife Sritong had asked Ya Mo, please have me return to live in Korat (Nakhonratchasima Chamber of Commerce, 2534:3). That power [of Thao Suranaree] led to medals and figures to be made in her likeness, such as that the Chamber of Commerce has made in celebration of its tenth anniversary in 2534 (AD 1991). The
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medal ceremony was presided over by his Holiness the Supreme Patriarch Phrayansangworn. Suranaree Wittaya school made statues of Thao Suranaree 70 and 30 centimeters tall, as well as making gold plated medals, upon the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the school on BE 2543 (AD 2000). Section 10 - Thao Suranaree and The Korat Song The Korat Song is a local song. It is only vocal with no instruments used. It is an extemporaneous format song with quick interchanges between men and women where they say that Thao Suranaree likes the Korat Song a great deal, that if anyone supplicants Thao Suranaree for a blessing, they will be able to receive one with the Korat Song. She is thus seen as one who injects breath into the Korat Song so that it lives on. The figure of Thao Suranaree is a symbol of Nakhonratchasima. To install the Thao Suranaree foundation in 2577 (AD ), the citizens of Nakhonratchasima played a part in donating copper coins, each costing one sating [one Baht has 100 satangs) to be accumulated to cast the statue. Thus Nakhonratchasima province used the statue as a provincial symbol. In addition, there were also government officials and shop merchants - who brought the name and symbol in part of their names in worship with the belief that this would bring good luck such as Suranaree Wittaya School, Suranaree Ice House, Suranaree Printing Company, Suranaree Sarn Sport Company, Ltd. as a few examples. In addition, the name and symbol appears on various products, such as in those produced that are connected with matters of

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the heart, that are able to communicate and cause understanding. Thao Suranaree resides in memory, praise, great esteem, and worship of the people of Nakhonratchasima, because she is a brave heroine. Even though she is a woman, she was able to use her mind and her hands to solve the lands crisis. She is thus a heart-rallying symbol for the people of Korat and of the nation. Translators Additional Notes: Paying respects to Thao Suranaree is simple. 1. Proceed to the garland and bouquet vendors to the side of the Lady Mo statue. 2. The vendors are used to people walking up so know what you need. But if you can speak any Thai, or even English, it's nice! 3. 20 Baht for the garland (two garlands are available - a small one, or a larger one with a ribbon), and another 20 Baht for the lotus bouquet. You may be able to bargain, but maybe not. The total cost - 40 Baht - is slightly over $1 U.S. You don't need to buy both garlands, but if you do, the cost will be 60 Baht rather than 40 total. (This amount will undoubtedly change over the years). 4. The lotus bouquet consists of three joss sticks, a candle, a small gold leaf between two thin pieces of paper, and a lotus flower. 5. After making your purchases, proceed to the Lady Mo (Thao Suranaree) statue, removing your shoes either at the bottom of the stairs or if you prefer, up at the top just before approaching the statue.

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6. Kneel in front of Thao Suranaree statue, and with the lotus bouquet between your hands, 'wai' with your hands even with the bottom of your nose, and dip your head slightly downward. During this 'wai,' you may make a wish if you choose, or ask for a blessing or special consideration for yourself, a family member or friend, group, etc. Alternatively, if you do not choose to make a wish, merely conclude the 'wai' and then stand. 7. Place the garland at or around/near the feet/base of the Lady Mo statue. 'Wai" once more if you wish. 8. Light the candle, generally by using one of the other burning candles that have already been placed. Use the flame from the candle to light the three joss sticks. When they are lit, you may wish to extinguish the open flame with a quick waving of the sticks. It is not considered appropriate to blow the flame out. 9. Place the candle nearby the others, and then place the joss sticks in the receptacle with the others. You can then 'wai' once more. 10. Place the gold leaf over the bust of Lady Mo. You will notice it nearby, covered with gold leaf. The gold leaf is rather sticky to fingers. The best way to place the leaf is to remove one side of the protecting paper, and then press the gold leave over the surface of the bust, and vigorously press on the backside of the remaining paper until the leaf sticks. 11. If you wish, 'wai' once more, then you may leave. 12. If you wish, you can also 'wai' once more in front of Lady Mo where you first began the ceremony. There are usually a lot of local photographers about. They advertise in Thai that photos cost 10 Baht each. You are free to take your own photos.

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Author (History of Isaan, Nakhonratchasima and Heroism at Tung Samrit) Nete Nimit, formerly chair of the Nakhonratchasima Historical Research Society, speaking with me regarding his assertion of Lady Mos bravery at Tung Samrit.
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Korats Chumpol Road in the past, showing rudimentary shacks set up by Chinese traders. Photo courtesy Nakhonratchasima library.

Korats ancient wall with one of the city gates shown in the distance. Photo courtesy Nakhonratchasima Library. l

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Lady Mo monument in the past.

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