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Sunthorn Ratchawongsa (สุนทรราชวงศาฯ)

Thai. Name of the first ruler of Yasothon, with the title of Phra and who ruled from 1814 to 1823 AD. He is also known as Chao Kham Singh (เจ้าคำสิงห์) and is sometimes referred to with the alternative title of thao, i.e. Thao Kham Singh (ท้าวคำสิงห์). After his father Faay Nah (ฝ่ายหน้า), as well as Chao Kham Singh and other relatives successfully fought in several wars, i.e. against Vientiane repressed a rebellion of the Khmer on the side of King Taksin (fig.); and from merit gained in suppressing the Ai Chiang Kaew (อ้ายเชียงแก้ว) rebellion by fighting on the side of King Rama I (fig.) when rebels in 1791 AD seized Champasak, his father was promoted to the third and new ruler of the Lan Xang Champasak Kingdom by King Rama I, who bestowed him with the noble title of Phra Wichaiya Ratcha Suriyawongkhatiyaraat (พระวิไชยราชสุริยวงษขัติยราช). He is also known as Phra Wichaiya Ratchakhattiyawongsa (พระวิไชยราชขัตติยวงศา) and reigned as Lord Ruler of Champasak for twenty years until his death in 1811. After his demise, King Rama II (fig.), graciously granted Chao Nu (เจ้านู), also known as Chao No Meuang (เจ้าหน่อเมือง) and the grandson of Luang Chaiyakumaan (ไชยกุมาร), the former ruler of Champasak, to rule the kingdom from then onward as Prince Ruler of Champasak. Dissatisfied with his this decision and with the latter's rule, Sunthorn Ratchawongsa migrated with his family and a host of other people to Ban Sing Tha (บ้านสิงห์ท่า), where he had a stupa built to store the ashes of his father. He later developed Ban Sing Tha to prosper under him, prompting King Rama II to raise its status to that of a city, while renaming it Meuang Yot Sunthorn (ยศสุนทร), i.e. the ‘Status (or Rank) of Sunthorn, after Sunthorn Ratchawongsa and making him the first ruler of the city that was to become Yasothon. To make merit and mourn the death of some of his close relatives, Sunthorn Ratchawongsa built Wat Sri Thammaram (วัดศรีธรรมาราม) and today his statue stands on a piazza in front of the temple's entrance. See also TRAVEL PICTURE and WATCH VIDEO.