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Furious families in hunger strike threat

Beijing, March 18 (Reuters): Furious Chinese families threatened today 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.

Ten days after the airliner vanished an hour into its flight, hundreds of family members are still waiting for information in a Beijing hotel. Around two thirds of the 239 passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are Chinese.

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 at a daily news briefing.

The Chinese representative from the airline said what information the families received was beyond his control.

“I can accept the criticisms and mistakes that you have pointed out. But the problem is that some information and material we really have no way to access. From my position, I really cannot access it. So I beg for your forgiveness,” he said.

Speaking to reporters, 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. “We’re going on hunger strike.”

 
 
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