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Published: Saturday August 16, 2014 MYT 11:03:00 PM
Updated: Saturday August 16, 2014 MYT 11:09:45 PM

MH17: Buddhist, Taoist rites held for four victims in Netherlands

THE HAGUE: The air was thick with sadness and remorse as the process of handling the remains of four non-Muslim victims of the doomed Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH17 was conducted at the Monuta Mortuary, S-Gravanhage here Saturday.

The religious ceremony for the Buddhist and Taoist victims began about 11am local time.

The religious leader for Buddhism, Reverend Sing Han, and the religious leader for Taoism, Daozhang Tan Boon Sin, who were specially flown from Malaysia, led the religious rituals, including prayers, in a special room.

Four coffins were placed side-by-side in the room but the ceremony was held behind closed doors. Members of the Malaysian media were not allowed into the room.

The two religious leaders, when met, said the ceremony went on well and the religious rituals were conducted as paying last respects to the victims to enable them to rest in peace.

 A family member of each of the four victims was present to pay their last respects. They declined to be interviewed.

On Thursday, the religious ritual for the remains of a Hindu victim was conducted by religious leader Datuk S. Mohanshan while that for a Sikh victim was performed by Sardar Harcharan Singh on Friday.

Prayer reading of the Yassin and tahlil for six Muslim victims killed in the crash was held on Tuesday and Wednesday by the Chief Imam of Putrajaya Mosque, Abdul Manaf Mat.

The handling of the remains of two Christian victims is expected to be conducted by a priest from the Council of Churches in the Netherlands.

The remains were among 16 bodies which would be repatriated to Kuala Lumpur by a special aircraft from Amsterdam. They are expected to arrive at the KL International Airport (KLIA) at 10am on Aug 22.

Flight MH17, with 298 people on board, including 15 crew (all Malaysians) went down in the Donetsk Region, east Ukraine close to the Russian border on July 17.

Twenty-eight of the passengers were Malaysians with the rest, mostly Dutch.

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft was believed to have been shot down. However, to date, no party has claimed responsibility. - Bernama


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