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Nehginpao Kipgen
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Nehginpao Kipgen is general secretary of the US-based Kuki International Forum. His general research interests include political transition, democratization, human rights, ethnic conflict and identity politics. His research focuses on the politics of South and Southeast Asia, with a concentration on Burma/Myanmar. He has written numerous academic (peer-reviewed) and nonacademic analytical articles on the politics of Burma and Asia that have been widely published internationally.

Entries by Nehginpao Kipgen

Obama's Visit and Suu Kyi's Political Future

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 4:01 PM

President Barack Obama arrived in Myanmar for a three-day visit on November 12. This is Obama's second trip to Myanmar in two years. His visit, in November 2012, was the first ever by a sitting U.S. president.

During his stay in the country, Obama will attend the Association of Southeast...

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What Message Must John Kerry Bring to Myanmar Leaders?

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 5:35 PM

The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is arriving in Myanmar's capital Nay Pyi Taw on August 9 for a three-day visit. The chief diplomat will meet government leaders and attend a series of meetings, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum and East Asia Summit.

In a...

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Strategizing Kukis' Political Demands

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 8:00 PM

The leaders of the two Kuki armed groups -- the United Peoples' Front (UPF) and the Kuki National Organization (KNO) -- are again heading to New Delhi with the hope of materializing a political dialogue with representatives of the central government.

A meeting with officials of the Ministry of Home...

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Optimism on Myanmar's Transition

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 1:01 PM

I recently made a month-long (February 5 to March 4) research trip to Myanmar, also referred to as Burma by some countries. I had the opportunity of meeting elites from diverse political spectrum.

Among others, I sat down with the country's former Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt, the ruling Union...

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Easing India-Myanmar Border Dispute

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 12:17 PM

The bilateral relations between India and Myanmar have gradually shifted over the past two decades. A major change began with the introduction of India's "Look East" policy in 1991, triggering a shift from support of the then pro-democracy movement to the pro-military government.

By establishing full diplomatic ties with...

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Resolving Myanmar's Sectarian Violence Issue

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2013 | 5:16 PM

The sectarian violence in Myanmar's western Rakhine state in 2012 escalated to a larger conflict between Muslims and Buddhists in the central part of the country in 2013.

The violence has resulted in the loss of more than 200 lives and made over 140,000 people homeless. Despite the...

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Challenges to Myanmar reconciliation

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 7:24 AM

The first large meeting of ethnic minorities and the Myanmar government since the country's independence has raised hopes of a peaceful resolution of contentious issues.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) and ethnic-based political parties in Myanmar that participated in the 1990 general election may have boycotted the 2010 general...

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An Entrenched Military Role in Myanmar

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2013 | 4:39 AM

September 18 marked the 25th anniversary of the last military takeover in Myanmar in 1988. That was the third major military intervention in the country's political history since its independence. At that time, the country was still officially called Burma. The government changed it to Myanmar the following year.

...
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A Lingering Memory of Ethnic Violence

(1) Comments | Posted September 13, 2013 | 2:07 PM

For the past several years, the Kukis of Manipur in Northeast India have been observing Sept. 13 as "Black Day" (Sahnit Nikho in local Thadou dialect) to remember the death of hundreds of Kukis during the Kuki-Naga clashes in the 1990s.

Sept. 13, 1993 was the highest number of Kukis...

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Burma's 8888: A Movement That Lives on

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2013 | 6:22 PM

The commemoration of the 8888 movement, a watershed moment in Myanmar's history, is an opportunity to build a more inclusive and democratically stable society

The 25th anniversary of Myanmar's historic 8888 Movement is being celebrated in Yangon from Aug. 6 to 8. The event has been organized by leaders of...

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Constitutional Changes Are for Myanmar's Own Good

(0) Comments | Posted August 2, 2013 | 12:22 PM

After years of advocacy efforts, the Myanmar government is beginning to act on its 2008 constitution. The parliament, a legislative body which is responsible for constitutional amendment, formed a 109-member committee on July 25 to review the country's constitution.

The committee includes lawmakers from Aung San Suu Kyi's National League...

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UK, France Must Pressure Myanmar

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2013 | 3:51 PM

Myanmar President Thein Sein began a four-day trip to Britain and France on Sunday at the invitation of British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande. It is the first visit to Britain by Myanmar's head of state in more than 25 years, since the late General Ne...

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Seven-year Itch

(0) Comments | Posted July 12, 2013 | 12:53 PM

It's time the Centre made good its promise of talks with Kuki groups

Manipur is once again in the midst of a general strike and a blockade of its national highways by Kuki groups who want their own state in northeast India. It is being spearheaded by the Kuki State...

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TIME Magazine Highlights Myanmar's Religious Problem

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 10:34 AM

In recent years, the world has witnessed countries that have been plagued by religious tension and sectarian violence, and Myanmar is no exception.

TIME, an American weekly news magazine, recently portrayed Wirathu, a Myanmar Buddhist monk, as "The Face of Buddhist Terror" in its July 1, 2013 international edition. The...

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Challenges Ahead for Suu Kyi's Political Ambition

(4) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 11:09 AM

On the sidelines of World Economic Forum on June 6, Aung San Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel peace prize laureate and the opposition leader, was asked if she would seek the post of the country's president.

Suu Kyi responded unequivocally and said, "I want to run for president and I...

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Religious Tolerance Key to Myanmar's Democracy

(5) Comments | Posted June 21, 2013 | 3:13 PM

Like many other countries around the world, Myanmar is a multi-religious state. But religion has been a sensitive issue since its parliamentary democracy of the late 1940s until today.

Religion has been a source of division in Myanmar society. Religious favoritism was practiced during the decades of military rule. One...

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The Politics in Name: Myanmar Versus Burma

(12) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 12:29 PM

By Nehginpao Kipgen

A three-day long of the 22nd World Economic Forum for East Asia concluded on June 7 in Nay Pyi Taw. It was the first time Myanmar hosted an international gathering of such magnitude. The event was attended by around 900 participants from over 50 countries, including political...

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A Conspicuous Trend in Myanmar's Transition

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 4:28 PM

During his visit to the White House on May 20, Myanmar President Thein Sein talked about the release of political prisoners who remain incarcerated in the country's jails despite the air of reforms sweeping over it.

The precise number of political prisoners is unclear. One frequently cited source is the...

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Quid Pro Quo Diplomacy in U.S.-Myanmar Relations

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2013 | 4:05 PM

What triggers former foes to become friends and then listen to each other on their mutual interests is one puzzle political scientists tend to ask themselves. This is what we see in the bilateral relations of the United States and Myanmar.

Until a year ago, Myanmar faced sanctions and its...

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Democratic Transition in Myanmar and Western Interests

(1) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 12:42 PM

Gradual democratic transition has been seen in Myanmar since the 2010 general elections. Prior to the elections, the country's closest allies were governments that had business interests or groups that had established connection with the military generals. The international community was visibly divided under two separate camps -- sanctions versus...

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