Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 675) condemning the July 17, 2009, terrorist bombings in Indonesia and expressing condolences to the people of Indonesia and the various other countries suffering casualties in the attacks.
The Clerk read the title of the resolution.
The text of the resolution is as follows:
H. Res. 675
Whereas, on July 17, 2009, 2 unidentified terrorists carried out twin suicide bombings at the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in the central business district of Jakarta, killing at least 7 people and wounding at least 50;
Whereas the majority of the victims of the attacks were Indonesian citizens, according to reports;
Whereas in addition to the Indonesian victims, citizens of Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore lost their lives in the attacks, and citizens of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States were injured, according to reports;
Whereas this tragic bombing was the first suicide attack in Indonesia since September 2005, demonstrating the progress that the Government of Indonesia has made in combating terrorism in recent years;
Whereas Indonesia is the most populous Muslim-majority country in the world and is founded on principles of religious tolerance and moderation;
Whereas Indonesia is developing into a strong multiparty democracy, as demonstrated by its April 2009 parliamentary elections, in which 9 different parties won seats in the People's Representative Council (DPR) and voter turnout exceeded 60 percent, and its July 2009 presidential election, which was characterized as free and fair by preliminary reports;
Whereas the continued development of Indonesia's democratic norms and institutions will be critical to stemming the tide of violent extremism and therefore is in the mutual interest of the United States and Indonesia; and
Whereas the United States Congress has worked in support of Indonesian democracy through the Congressional Caucus on Indonesia and the House Democracy Assistance Commission, which has had a productive partnership with the DPR since 2006 and remains firmly committed to continuing this partnership: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) condemns in the strongest terms the July 17, 2009, attacks in Jakarta and all other terrorist attacks against targets in Indonesia;
(2) expresses its condolences to the people of Indonesia and the various other countries suffering casualties in the attacks;
(3) supports the efforts of the Government of Indonesia to investigate and prosecute the attacks to the fullest extent of the law, and calls upon Indonesia and its neighbors to work together to combat terrorism in Southeast Asia;
(4) expresses its confidence that Indonesia remains a reliable partner in the global struggle against terrorism and a stable destination for trade, travel, and investment; and
(5) reaffirms the long-term commitment of the United States to the strengthening of democratic institutions and the promotion of peace, prosperity, and ethnic and religious tolerance in Indonesia.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution.
At this time, I would yield as much time as he could consume to the gentleman, my good friend, the chief sponsor of this resolution, to now address the Chamber, the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Price).
Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Thank you to the distinguished chairman of the subcommittee for his work on H. Res. 675, which I'm proud to rise in support of. It's a message of solidarity to the people of Indonesia.
I want to first thank the leadership of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Asia-Pacific Subcommittee, in particular, for their leadership on this issue in putting this resolution forward on behalf of the House Democracy Assistance Commission. Mr. Dreier and I have worked closely with the committee leadership and staff, as well as the leadership of the Indonesia Caucus, Mr. Wexler and Mr. Burton of Indiana.
A week ago last Friday, July 17, two terrorists detonated suicide bombs inside the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Hotels in the central business district of Jakarta, killing themselves and seven others and wounding over 50. It was the first successful attack in Indonesia since 2005, and it comes at a time when the country has made substantial progress in the fight against terrorism.
The attackers appeared to have been targeting a conference of Western businessmen meeting at the Marriott and citizens of over a dozen countries, including eight Americans, who were injured in these horrific attacks. The majority of the victims were Indonesian citizens going peacefully about their daily affairs.
For my HDAC colleagues and me, these attacks hit pretty close to home because our commission had visited Jakarta just 2 weeks before to continue the partnership we have been forging with the Indonesia Parliament since 2006. We met with parliamentary leaders as well as with a number of newly elected members discussing their progress towards democratic reforms during this time of political transition in Indonesia.
In light of this productive and mutually enriching partnership, it's fitting that a delegation from the Indonesian equivalent of our House Administration Committee is visiting the House today and tomorrow for 2 days of meetings arranged by the House Democracy Assistance Commission. Led by Chairwoman Indria Octavia Muaja, the delegation is here to meet with our Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as our House Administration Committee and chief administrative officer, to discuss how to implement
and manage an effective human resources system in their parliament.
Now, this may not grab any headlines, but it's this type of partnership that will help build the foundations of a stable and prosperous democracy in the years ahead.
And so, Madam Speaker, we offer this resolution today to extend our condolences to our guests and all of the people of Indonesia and all of the other countries suffering casualties in these attacks, to condemn these senseless acts of terrorism in the strongest possible terms and to reaffirm our commitment to the strengthening of democratic institutions and the promotion of peace, prosperity, and tolerance in Indonesia.
I urge my colleagues to support this resolution.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I rise today in strong support of House Resolution 675. The suicide bombings of the Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton Hotels in the central business district of Jakarta, Indonesia, left at least seven people dead and an estimated 50 persons wounded.
The Jakarta Marriott Hotel, of course, was the site of a previous car bomb attack in the year 2003. This was followed by suicide bombings on the resort island in Bali in 2005. The fact that no attacks occurred for the following 4 years in Indonesia until the events of July 17 is a testimony to the government and security forces of Indonesia that have proved stalwart partners in the global war on terrorism.
The Jakarta bombers have been linked to an an Indonesian-based Islamic militant organization with ties to al Qaeda. It had been inactive for the past several years due to the comprehensive work of the security forces of Indonesia. The fact that it is once again able to carry out the attacks is cause for concern for us all. If JI is back today, al Qaeda could be back tomorrow.
The selection of sites in the international business district of Jakarta shows the clear intent of the perpetrators to spread fear in the international community and to disrupt commercial enterprise between Indonesia's still-expanding economy and its international business partners.
Well, the Congress has a message for these militants. We will continue to stand with Indonesia, its people, during this most difficult time. We salute the brave people of Indonesia. Together we can defeat this international scourge of the 21st century, the hidden weapon of the suicide bomber.
I urge my colleagues to strongly support this resolution.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Again, I want to commend my good friend, the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Price, as co-Chair with our good friend and colleague, Mr. Dreier from California in this House Democracy Assistance Commission, and I do want to commend him for the tremendous job they are doing in promoting democratic principles throughout the world among countries that we give our support to.
This resolution condemns the two terrorist bombings in Indonesia on July 17, 2009, and expresses condolences to the people of Indonesia and other countries who were killed and injured by the attacks.
I want to thank my friend, Mr. Price, for sponsoring this important resolution that allows the House to show its strong support for Indonesia and its people after these horrific terrorist attacks in Jakarta.
Shortly before 8 a.m. in the morning on July 17, a bomb ripped through the lobby of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta. Minutes later, a second bomb exploded in the nearby Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The twin bombings killed nine people, including the two suicide bombers and wounded over 50 others.
I would like to certainly express my condolences and sympathies to both the families who lost their loved ones in the attacks that morning and to those who were injured.
I would also like to condemn in the strongest terms possible the senseless act of violence committed against innocent people by vicious suicide terrorists. The majority of the victims were Indonesian citizens, although citizens from a number of other countries also suffered casualties.
The two bombings serves as a stark reminder to all of us that the threat of terrorism remains very real. It also reminds us that the world must continue to work together to confront violent extremists who will kill innocent people. The United States will continue to work with Indonesia and other countries to combat terrorism and to promote a common vision for a more peaceful and prosperous future for all of the world's citizens.
Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and I also want to commend the recent presidential election in Indonesia that was held and that the President was elected by a margin of over 60 percent of the voters. Indonesia with 225 million people, the largest, most populous Muslim nation in the world has demonstrated to the world that democracy can function quite well even in a Muslim country.
And certainly we want to commend the good people of Indonesia and their leaders in achieving this degree of democracy and how they've developed their government from times past. [Page: H8946]
With that, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Again, I thank my good friend, the gentlelady from Florida.
I yield back the balance of my time.