Beijing: Furious Chinese families threatened yesterday to go on hunger strike until the Malaysian government tells them the truth about the fate of their relatives aboard a Malaysia Airlines flight, which went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Anguish: A relative of a Chinese passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 shows a paper reading ‘Hunger strike protest’. Families and friends said that officials weren’t being honest and all they wanted was right information. Pics/PTI, AFP
Ten days after the airliner vanished an hour into its flight, hundreds of family members are still waiting for information in a Beijing hotel.
Families vented their pain and anger on Chinese representatives sent by the airline to meet them on Tuesday and demanded to see the Malaysian ambassador.
“What we want is the truth. Don’t let them become victims of politics. No matter what political party you are, no matter how much power you have, if there isn’t life, what’s the point? Where is compassion?” asked one middle-aged woman angrily.
“You’re always going back and forth. I think your government knows in their heart why we want you to answer us. Because you’re always tricking us, telling us lies,” added one man.
China has repeatedly called on the Malaysian side to do a better job at looking after the relatives of the Chinese passengers, and to provide them with updated information.
“China has all along demanded that the Malaysian side and Malaysia Airlines earnestly respond to the reasonable requests of the Chinese families,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.
As the representatives left, families shouted after them, chanting slogans with their fists in the air.
“Keep protesting, Respect life, Don’t let them become victims of politics, Tell us the truth!” they shouted.
A woman who had led the chanting held up a piece of paper with slogans written on it, and said the families were calling for a hunger strike.
“Respect life, return our relatives. Can everyone read it? Can everyone read it?” she asked.
“The families are on the point of collapse. There are so many families coming and going, some have already left. The young people can stand it, but the elderly have already broken down,” she shouted.
Anger has also spread online, with some Chinese calling on the government to impose sanctions on Malaysia for its poor handling of the incident.
The amount of area (in nautical miles) being searched for the missing plane
No of countries involved in the search operations
Courtney Love claims she may have ‘found’ the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, even offering exact co-ordinates as to the jetliner’s location on her Facebook page.
The singer, who admitted she is “no expert” on the subject of missing flight MH370, announced her theory that it may have crashed with an annotated screen grab showing what she believes to be evidence of an oil slick and a plane.
She wrote: “I’m no expert but up close this does look like a plane and an oil slick. Prayers go out to the families #MH370 and it’s like a mile away Pulau Perak, where they ‘last’ tracked it 5°39’08.5”N 98°50’38.0”E but what do I know?”
Maldivers saw ‘low-flying’ jet
Reports from a Maldives news organisation said that islanders saw a ‘low-flying jumbo jet’. Witnesses said they saw
a plane flying low around 6.15 am on March 8. It was flying north to south-west. “I’ve never seen a jet flying so low over
our island before,” a witness said.