They sang and they shouted in anger and frustration but at the end of an emotionally draining day, abode seekers yesterday thought they were on the verge of a major concession from the Government. They were wrong. About 900 abode seekers and their families had marched to the new Immigration Department headquarters in Kai Tak, demanding to meet officials to seek extensions to temporary stay permits. 'I'll die without my son,' said Kwok Yuk-ha, 71, one of the parents of 62 abode seekers whose permit to remain had just expired. 'My husband and I will have nobody to take care of us,' she said as her husband Choi Hau-sung, 80, sat by her side. Their sentiments were shared by many elderly protesters who believed they would not see their children again if they were returned to the mainland. Tensions ran high after immigration officers refused the negotiation terms put forward by the abode seekers, who wanted six parents and four members of other social organisations to represent them at the meeting. The Immigration Department said they would only meet three representatives and none of them should be abode seekers' parents. However, the Government eventually backed down and agreed to meet five representatives. Then the two sides could not agree on who they should be. After five hours of deadlock, the crowd became angry. One parent, Chow Kwok-fai, said: 'That shows how sincere they are. They just want to provoke us.' Leaders of the abode seekers called for calm. Abode campaigner Father Franco Mella said: 'The most important [thing] is that no one has been arrested. We must not do anything violent. We have to be united and peaceful, so the sympathy of the Hong Kong public will be on our side.' After hours of bickering, the two sides finally met. Initially, it seemed that all the waiting had been worth it. Claimants' representatives said people in several categories would not be sent home immediately. They included those seeking legal aid, those who had applied to stay on humanitarian grounds but had yet to receive rulings, students waiting to take examinations and people receiving medical treatment, according to Jackie Hung, one of the representatives and a spokeswoman for the Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese. There was relief from some, scepticism from others. Well-founded scepticism, as it turned out. Within two hours of the meeting ending the Government announced there would be no concessions and no amnesty. And, as Deputy Secretary for Security Michael Wong Wai-lun later put it, no room for negotiation.