The Jakarta Post
It should have been a happy homecoming for Ninik Yuriani, 57, an Indonesian expatriate who had made Amsterdam her home for the past 17 years.
After living in the Dutch capital since 1997, it was to be Ninik's first chance to celebrate Idul Fitri with members of her extended family in Jakarta. In fact, Ninik also planned to attend her niece's wedding in Wonosobo, Central Java.
Ninik never made it to the two planned parties.
Her life was cut short when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed near the village of Grabovo in the restive region of Ukraine after being hit by a missile, apparently launched by separatist fighters.
Ninik was one of 298 passengers from at more than nine countries who lost their lives in the tragic incident. The Transportation Ministry reported that 12 Indonesian citizens were on board the ill-fated Boeing 777-200 jetliner.
'This would have been her first Idul Fitri holiday in a long time. She only came back once in three or four years, and only for short vacations,' Ninik's uncle, Wardiyono, said.
Another passenger who perished in the downed jetliner was Supartini, a native of Karanganyar, Central Java, who had been working as a housemaid in The Hague for the past three-and-a-half years.
Supartini was traveling home to celebrate Idul Fitri in her home town.
She was supposed to have been accompanied on the same flight by her sisters, Murtini and Paryanti, who also worked in the Netherlands as migrant workers.
However, no tickets were available for her sisters, so they flew later on Singapore Airlines and Emirates flights with the plan to meet up on Thursday afternoon at the Adi Soemarmo airport in Surakarta.
Her sisters never saw Supartini again. Her family learned about the accident after discovering that the flight number of her ticket matched the information broadcast on local television news.
The family also received a phone call from the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague, informing them that Supartini was among the victims of the air crash. Supartini, who was a widow, is survived by her only child, 12-year-old Murika.
Another victim in the crash was Charles Tamtelahitu, 63, brother of PT Humpuss Intermoda Transportasi president director Theo Lekatompessy.
Charles was flying home to attend his mother's funeral.
'My mother passed away yesterday [Wednesday] and her burial is scheduled for tomorrow [Friday]. I went to get a ticket for my older and only brother in order for him to fly from Amsterdam to attend the funeral [in Jakarta]. It has only led to more grief,' said Theo late Thursday.
From Medan, the parents of Hendry, another of the plane's passengers, were finding it hard to come to terms with the loss of their son.
'We're still in shock. Both his parents passed out several times after hearing the news,' Hendry's uncle, Antoni, said.
Hendry had only been in the Netherlands for the past two months, where he lived with his uncle, and was planning to return home to attend his sister's wedding in September.
'He is the only son in the family. He's the quiet one,' another member of his extended family, Suryani, said.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Friday that the country was mourning the loss of its citizens in what he called a 'tragic incident', and he sent his deepest condolences to the families of the victims.
'Our prayers and thoughts are with the families,' Yudhoyono said.
'If this (indication that the jet was shot down) is proven, this will constitute a serious breach of international law and the laws of war. Those responsible must be held fully accountable and must be brought to justice,' he said.
1. Hadiono Gunawan (seat number 1D)
2. Yodricunda Theistiasih (11E)
3. Ketut Wiartini (14H)
4. Yuli Hastini (16G)
5. Supartini (31K)
6. Hendry (32E)
7. Gerda Leliana Lahenda (14C)
8. Werther Smallenburg (12E)
9. Jane M Adi Soetjipto (14A)
10. Vickiline Kurniati Kardi (19F)
11. Wayan Sujana (12D)
13. Ninik Yuriani
14. Charles Tamtelahitu
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