Chi­nese rel­a­tives send let­ter to en­voy

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By JIN HAIX­ING jin­haix­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The com­mit­tee rep­re­sent­ing rel­a­tives of the pas­sen­gers aboard Malaysia Air­lines Flight MH370 filed a pe­ti­tion let­ter on Thurs­day ask­ing for help from the Chi­nese spe­cial en­voy sent to Malaysia to dis­cuss the dis­as­ter.

In the let­ter, rel­a­tives ex­pressed their dis­ap­point­ment with Malaysia Air­lines and said they hope they re­ceive sup­port and help from the Chi­nese govern­ment.

Chi­nese spe­cial en­voy Zhang Ye­sui met on Wed­nes­day with Malaysian Prime Min­is­ter Na­jib Razak to dis­cuss the flight’s dis­ap­pear­ance and ap­par­ent crash­ing.

The fam­ily-mem­ber com­mit­tee, which was set up to col­lect ques­tions and ap­peals from the fam­ily mem­bers and work as a plat­form to re­lease news, asked the Chi­nese govern­ment in its let­ter to cre­ate an in­ves­ti­ga­tions of­fice to look into the dis­as­ter and es­tab­lish a chan­nel of com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the com­mit­tee via tele­phone, e-mail or so­cial me­dia, ac­cord­ing to a copy of the let­ter pro­vided to China Daily.

It called for au­thor­i­ties to find the truth be­hind the in­ci­dent and asked that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tinue un­til the plane’s black boxes are dis­cov­ered.

With the an­nounce­ment by Na­jib that the plane had crashed in the south­ern parts of the In­dian Ocean, the com­mit­tee ex­pressed hope that the Malaysian govern­ment will build a mon­u­ment to honor the pas­sen­gers aboard flight MH370 in ei­ther Perth, Aus­tralia, or a nearby re­gion.

The let­ter re­quested free air travel for rel­a­tives to visit the mon­u­ment each year.

Reuters re­ported on Tues­day that of­fi­cials are now sure the plane crashed in the re­mote In­dian Ocean off Aus­tralia and that all 239 people on board are dead.

The let­ter also asked the Malaysian govern­ment to apol­o­gize to rel­a­tives and ex­plain why it de­layed not only its search for the plane but also the re­lease of ac­cu­rate and timely in­for­ma­tion into the plane’s where­abouts.

The let­ter also called on the Chi­nese govern­ment to pro­vide free le­gal as­sis­tance to rel­a­tives, who are con­sid­er­ing fil­ing law­suits against the air­line.

In a sep­a­rate state­ment from the com­mit­tee, it claimed that the spe­cial as­sis­tance team from Malaysia Air­lines sta­tioned at Bei­jing’s Lido Ho­tel did not show up at the ho­tel on Wed­nes­day, a day af­ter rel­a­tives launched a protest at the Malaysian em­bassy in the Chi­nese cap­i­tal and ac­cused the govern­ment in Kuala Lumpur of “cheat­ing” them.

On Thurs­day, mem­bers of the air­line’s spe­cial team re­sumed their work as­sist­ing the rel­a­tives. The team is cur­rently work­ing to pro­vide ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tions and travel ex­penses for the rel­a­tives. Ac­cord­ing to an un­named air­line em­ployee, rel­a­tives can choose to stay in Bei­jing or re­turn to their home­towns.

For each pas­sen­ger on­board, the air­line has vowed to fly two of the pas­sen­ger’s rel­a­tives to ei­ther Malaysia or Perth. The air­line em­ployee did not re­veal when the rel­a­tives would be sent to Perth or Malaysia.

On Thurs­day, af­ter a daily brief­ing at the Lido Ho­tel, the air­line’s spe­cial team seemed to com­mu­ni­cate bet­ter with rel­a­tives af­ter the com­mit­tee sub­mit­ted their ques­tions in writ­ing.

One woman rel­a­tive asked the air­line to pro­vide the name of the man­u­fac­turer of the satel­lite phone used in the miss­ing plane.

“By track­ing the records of pos­si­ble calls made by the plane, maybe we can find some clues,” she said.

A mem­ber of the air­line’s spe­cial team said it will give them an an­swer when it is avail­able.

PHOTO BY KIM KYUNG-HOON / REUTERS

A rel­a­tive (cen­ter) of a Malaysia Air­lines Flight MH370 pas­sen­ger en­ters a meet­ing room with vol­un­teers from Malaysia at the Lido Ho­tel in Bei­jing on Thurs­day. Se­vere weather on Thurs­day halted an air and sea search for the pas­sen­ger jet thought to have crashed in the south­ern In­dian Ocean, frus­trat­ing hopes of find­ing what new satel­lite im­ages showed could be a large de­bris field.

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