Canberra, June 22: The Australian, Malaysian and Dutch governments will hold services on July 17 to mark the first anniversary of the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine with the loss of 298 lives, Australia's prime minister said today.
Australian lawmakers would be recalled to Parliament House for the national service and a plaque would be unveiled in the House of Representatives' gardens inscribed with the names of all victims, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.
Australian flags will be flown at half-staff on all government facilities throughout the country, he said. "We continue to support families who deal with the pain of loss and who have a deep yearning for justice," Abbott told Parliament.
The victims included 39 Australian citizens and permanent residents. The shooting down of Flight 17 as the Boeing 777 flew from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was the second of two disasters that struck the troubled airline last year after Flight 370 with 239 people on board went missing on March 8 last year while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
No trace of it has been found. Ukraine and the West suspect Flight 17 was destroyed by a Russian surface-to-air missile fired by Russian forces or separatist rebels fighting in the area.
The Russian maker of the Buk air defense missile system this month concluded that Flight 17 was downed by an older version of the missile, which is not in service with the Russian military but is in Ukrainian arsenals.