When the news finally arrived in Beijing, it was not from a spokesperson, or even in a language the relatives could understand. Phones began to beep inside the conference room at the Lido hotel, receiving a text message in English.
After 16 days of doubt and mistrust, and heavy criticism of the calamitous misjudgments of the Malaysian authorities, the text message was a final insult. It prompted rage from the families of the 154 Chinese on board the missing plane.
By the end of the night, they would denounce Malaysia Airlines, and the Malaysian government and military as the “executioners” who had taken their loved ones’ lives by their dithering and deceit.
“We will do everything possible to pursue these three, to hold them responsible for their unforgivable crime,” the families said in a statement.
The vague wording of the text message brought no sense of closure for the scores inside the room, some of whom continued to cling on to hope.
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