Part V – Ian Neumegen

Part I - Background & A night on the bridge
Part II - Crossing the lines
Part III - A hot afternoon
Part IV - The shooting starts
Part V - Ian Neumegen, a foreigner killed in the disturbances
Part VI - Soldiers advance through Banglampoo
Part VII - Aftermath
Comments on the Black May 1992 story

Part V - Ian Neumegen
(Posted on on May 30, 2004)

There were many people killed and injured during the Black May disturbances. Since Ian Neumegen was shot near me and there is little about him on the net (or documented elsewhere), here is some info on his life and death.

Ian Neumegen was from New Zealand. He was 40 years old and had lived in Thailand for 12 years (some sources say 14 years). He assisted the Office of the Supreme Patriarch's Secretary and translated Buddhist works including writings by HRH The Princess Mother.

Human Rights Watch reported: "He was shot by an M-16 in the back of his neck shortly after leaving the monastery where he lived to go out for dinner with a friend."

AFP, May 20, 1992: "In Wellington, Foreign Minister Don McKinnon summoned Thai charge d'affaires Artaporn Puthikampol to protest at the killing of New Zealand schoolteacher Ian Neumegen in the riots. McKinnon later said a second, unidentified New Zealander had been shot in the Thai riots and was fighting for his life Wednesday in a Bangkok hospital."

As usual, the Bangkok Post had its facts wrong, as recently as 1997 reporting him as "Ian Newmeken - Australian." (Those killed during the May uprising of May 17-21, 1992, Bangkok Post, May 19, 1997)

HM The King sponsored the funeral ceremony.

Above: Ian Neumegen

The Rudiments of Mental-Collectedness

His Majesty King Bhunilbol Adulyadej
graciously sponsors the funeral ceremony
and cremation of the remains of
Sunday, May 31, 2535 (1992)
at Wat Trithosathep Crematorium, Bangkok

Gratitude for Royal Compassion

It is a great honour for Mr. Ian Neumegen and his family that His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej has most graciously sponsored the seven day religious ceremony, bathing water and the cremation of the remains of Mr. Ian Neumegen, who passed away on the 18th of May, 1992, on the 31st of May, 1992.

Family, friends and all those concerned feel it is a great honour that His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has so graciously sponsored this funeral ceremony. We will hold in great esteem Your Majesty's most gracious compassion forever.

Brief Biography of Mr. Ian Neumegen

Mr. Ian Neumegen was born on the 14th of September, 1951, at Epsom, New Zealand. He had long been interested in Buddhism and in 1978 he travelled to Thailand to ordain as a Buddhist monk in order to study and practise Buddhism.

Soon after he arrived in Thailand he ordained as a novice for some time and then took higher ordination as a monk at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara in the year of the 1982 With Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, Supreme Patriarch and Lord Abbot, as his preceptor. During the time he was a monk at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara, he was diligent in carrying out his duties, such as teaching and advising the various foreigners who showed an interest in Buddhism.

After two years as a monk Mr. Neumegen disrobed but continued to reside at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara helping the temple, Mahamakut Rajavidyalaya Foundation and the Office of the Supreme Patriarch's Secretary with matters concerning foreigners. He also translated into English sermons of the Supreme Patriarch and other Buddhist books.

Mr. Neumegen was a good Buddhist who liked to meditate daily. He was kind-hearted, contented with, little as should all Buddhists be and always helped anyone who came to him for assistance. He was therefore liked by everyone who knew him.

Besides his assisting Wat Bowonniwet Vihara, Mahamakut Rajavidyalaya Foundation and the Office of the Supreme Patriarch's Secretary Mr. Neumegen also worked at the International School Bangkok. Being kindhearted he was like by all his students, their parents, administrators and School Board members.

Mr. Neumegen had advanced knowledge in the area of computer studies. For this reason the school and its community highly appreciated his skills.

A few days before his death he started to Work on a TRANSFER program which would have facilitated the study of ancient Asian languages. This program would have effected the present world body of knowledge concerning ancient Asian texts.

While he resided at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara Mr. Neumegen lived a simple life until the 18 of May 1992. On that day, there was a civil disturbance in the city of Bangkok. Mr. Neumegen left the temple to buy tomato juice to drink a usual. While he was walking in front of Wat Bowonniwet Vihara, he was struck by a rifle bullet and died instantly at approximately 3:00 pm. Mr. Neumegen died, at the age of 41 after living in Thailand for 14 years.

Thanks to Mr. Neumegen's family for supplying this information about him.

The other injured foreigner was Brendan Mahoney. We have been unable to contact him or his family for their recollections.

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