Families Of MH 370 Passengers Protest Outside Malaysian Embassy In Beijing Searching For Answers [PHOTOS]

  • Malaysian Embassy Protests- Beijing
    Family members of passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 attempt to push past policemen during a protest, near Lido Hotel in Beijing, March 25, 2014. Reuters
  • Malaysian Embassy Protests- Beijing
    Plain clothes police officers stand guard in front of the Malaysian embassy while family members of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 hold a protest in Beijing, March 25, 2014. Reuters
  • Malaysian Embassy Protests- Beijing
    Family members of passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 protest as they head to the Malaysian Embassy from Lido hotel in Beijing March 25, 2014. Reuters
  • Malaysian Embassy Protests- Beijing
    Family members of passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 cry as they shout slogans during a protest in front of the Malaysian embassy in Beijing March 25, 2014. Reuters
  • Malaysian Embassy Protests- Beijing
    Paramilitary soldiers in anti-riot gear march around the Malaysian embassy while family members of passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 stage a rally in front of the embassy in Beijing March 25, 2014. Reuters
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After two weeks of uncertainty, hundreds of relatives of the passengers of the doomed Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 passengers were informed by officials in Kuala Lumpur on Monday evening that there would be no hope for finding any survivors. On Tuesday, family members took their anger and sorrow to the streets outside of Beijing’s Malaysian Embassy in a Chinese government-approved protest.

The public protest of hundreds of family members, many of whom held signs, appeared to have been approved by the city government, which provided buses to transport the family members to the embassy from their hotels, one relative told the Los Angeles Times. Relatives were met by dozens of police officers, seemingly prepared for the group’s arrival, to ensure a peaceful protest. The apparently sponsored protest was a rare gesture for China’s security-obsessed government.

Several of the family members of passengers on the missing MH370 Beijing-bound flight from Kuala Lumpur were kept together in Beijing’s Lido Hotel so they could be apprised of any updates or in the search. Monday night, when news broke that officials had no reason to believe there would be any survivors and that the plane went down somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean, many family members were not satisfied with the explanation they were given.

According to ABC News, just one of many media teams that were camped out at the Lido Hotel, families began to grow angry. The report noted that many families stopped listening to the live telecast of the Malaysian prime minister’s statement, where he reiterated the message of “no survivors.” Grief-stricken relatives screamed and yelled at the television, while others smashed chairs while yelling, “Lies, lies.”

Other relatives had to be rushed to hospitals when they collapsed and fainted upon hearing the tragic update. Medics were on standby and swiftly took them away on stretchers. Still filled with endless questions, their grief and anger overflowed the next day outside the Malaysian Embassy. “We want our families. We want the truth,” some signs read. Streets surrounding the embassy were closed off to vehicles as the group marched toward the building.

The Beijing correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, Malcolm Moore, was live-tweeting the protest, and reported that there was a confrontation between the relatives and some embassy diplomats.

Malaysia’s response to the disappearance has been the subject of a lot of criticism not only by the relatives of MH370 passengers, but also by the Chinese government, and even Malaysian media. Many accused the government and the airline of failing to release correct information in a timely manner.

Looking forward, many Chinese feel that the affair has dampened their desire to visit the Southeast Asian country. An online poll conducted by Sina.com, an online news portal, found that more than 77 percent of the 38,400 people surveyed, said that the MH370 incident negatively influenced their plans on traveling to Malaysia. Nineteen percent of the respondents said it hadn’t made a difference, while 4 percent were still undecided. 

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