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Thao Suranaree Monument

A statue of Thao Suranaree stands in the centre of Nakhon Ratchasima, and is a popular object of devotion. The statue was designed by Phra Thewaphinimmit (1888–1942) and sculpted by Silpa Bhirasri. Thao Suranaree's statue was placed next to the Chumphon Gate of the city wall on January 15, 1934.

Thao Suranaree is the royally bestowed title of Lady Mo, (also known as Ya Mo (which comes from the Thai 'Grandma Mo') who lived between 1771 and 1852. She was the wife of the deputy governor of Nakhon Ratchasima, the stronghold for Siamese control over its Laotian vassals. In 1826 Vientiane King Anuvong invaded Siam seeking complete independence. Anuvong's forces seized the city of Nakhon Ratchasima by a ruse when the governor was away. They evacuated the inhabitants, intending to resettle them in Laos. Lady Mo is credited with saving her people by harassing the enemy. Varying stories describe her either getting the invading soldiers drunk, or leading a rebellion of the prisoners on the way back to Vientiane. The generally accepted version tells that when the Lao invaders ordered the women to cook for them, Lady Mo requested knives to do so. That night, when the invaders were asleep, she gave the knives to the men to attack them. The surprised Lao troops fled and the prisoners escaped. Thai King Rama III soon sent an army in pursuit, led by General Sing Singhaseni. He defeated Anuvong's forces in 3 days of fighting and followed his orders by completely destroying Anuvong's capital city of Vientiane.

King Rama III awarded her the title Thao Suranaree, (or Lady Suranaree – The Brave Lady) in recognition of her courageous acts.

As part of a 77-million-Baht city centre renovation project, the entire site was renovated to look the way it does today. Dirt and trees were uprooted for construction of a new tree-lined watercourse, a central stage, and to upgrade the Lady Mo monument and to rework Chumphon Gate.

A festival is held in her honour each year at the end of March and the beginning of April.

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