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May 15th, 2009
World Links: U.N. Fears Bloodbath in Sri Lanka, Obama Revives Military Tribunals

Thousands of civilians face death or injury as the Sri Lankan army advances against Tamil Tiger separatists. The United Nations calls for restraint and the International Committee of the Red Cross says its staff is witnessing “an unimaginable human catastrophe.” The government claims to be within days of ending the decades-long civil war.

President Barack Obama announces the resumption of controversial military tribunals against terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, while granting prisoners new rights.

Tens of thousands of Pakistan civilians take advantage of the suspension of a curfew to flee the Swat Valley.

Gay activists planning a gay pride parade in Moscow to coincide with the Eurovision Song Contest face violence from anti-gay groups. Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has banned the parade, calling it “satanic” and accusing homosexuals of spreading HIV.

South Africa reverses course and allows the Dalai Lama to visit. Critics have contended South Africa bowed to pressure from China in initially denying him a visa.

Hundreds of foreign militants are joining the fight against the Somali government.

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