Bua Yai supporters promote bill at rally
More than 1,000 supporters of a bill seeking to separate eight districts from Nakhon Ratchasima to create a new province called Bua Yai yesterday ramped up their campaign by rallying at Ya Mo Monument in the northeastern province.
The demonstrators were from the eight districts the bill would hive off from the rest of the province: Bua Yai, Ban Luam, Prathai, Khong, Non Daeng, Kaeng Sanam Nang, Bua Lai and Sida districts.
Leaders of each district took turns to make speeches urging agencies concerned to speed up the formation of the new province.
A campaign to collect 50,000 signatures to back the province's creation also kicked off. The signatures will be sent to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha so he can acknowledge the needs of locals, according to rally organisers.
Kampan Boonyeud, a co-leader of the demonstration, said residents of the eight districts did not mind what the new province is called. It could be called Bua Yai, Suranaree, or any other name that is appropriate, he said.
Opponents of the bill say Nakhon Ratchasima should stay intact as, historically, great sacrifices were made to protect the province. Nineteenth-century heroine Thao Suranaree, also known as Ya Mo, is said to have led a rebellion against invaders who tried to seize the province.
Opponents want the province to organise a public hearing to find out how residents of Nakhon Ratchasima feel about the proposed split.
Countering the opponents, Mr Kampan said Ya Mo was a heroine for Thailand, not just Nakhon Ratchasima.
Supporters will continue the campaign to establish Bua Yai province until it is successful, he said.
At Ya Mo Monument in Muang district yesterday about 20 red-shirt supporters turned up to give moral support to the chairman of the Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Administration Council, Kittipong Pongsuravet, who raised the issue of creating Bua Yai province at a council meeting on Thursday.