What happens, if the "Nail, around which the world turns" (Paku Buwono) faints.
2 Princes battle in the monarchy of Surakarta for the vacant throne. The Emperor is dead, but never assigned a succesor.
Prince Puger tells how his father Susuhunan (Emperor) Paku Buwono XII end may 2004 felt, that he would die. He assembled us. The vulcao Bromo had just erupted and also the Semeru and Bromo were vibrating dangerously. Father saw in this the signs, that a change of power, disputes and other negative things would occur. He said: "The time has come, my children."
On 11-4-2004 Susuhunan Paku Buwono XII (the Nail, around which the world turns) died in a hospital in Solo because of a shrinken liver. He was 79 yrs old and had sat on the throne since 1944. The Emperor had not assigned a succesor and his 35 surviving children; begotten from his 6 wives; were divided into 2 camps, who each chose a Crownprince.
On 24-6-2004 the oldest son Prince Hangabehi received from 8 brothers and sisters (all children from the 3rd wife)in a part of the Palace the dignity of Crownprince. The 3 main Courtofficials; chief of the Palace administration and the representatives of the Princes and Princesses; were not present, so that the legality of the ceremony was questioned by the the rival camp. Also no representatives of the provincial and local government attended.(but that had to do with the fact, that these government departments wanted to remain neutral).
On 31-8-2004 the children of the 5 other wives installed Prince Tedjowoelan;a Colonel in the landforces with promotion in sight;as Crownprince.
The ceremony also had to take place in the Palace,but strong and black clothes wearing adherants of Prince Hangabehi;Blocked the 4 entrances to the Palace(Kedaton).The ceremony then was held in the luxoury house of the businesswoman Mooriyati Soediboyo;granddaughter of Susuhunan Paku Buwono X(d 1939)and owner of the cosmetica firm Mustika Ratu(according to Palace traditions made;very succesfull internationally).Now the 3 highest Court officials were attending ;as well as the gov. officials of the Province and city;but the ceremony on a not sacral place wasn't legal according to the Imperial tradition.Prince Tedjowoelan received the dignity from his brother Prince Hadiprabowo(spokesman of the male children of the deceased Emperor)Of the Javanese Royal area of middle Java 2 Imperial/Royal palaces remain(apart from 2 Princely Palaces;each in one part of the area:1 in Yogyakarta one in Surakarta);but without official statearea.1 is in Yogyakarta,other in Solo.
In the 17th century the Mataram Empire had a big influence in a big part of Java and Madura.From the 18th century until begin 19th century the shrinked remaining part of the Empire was split up in 1 Imperial part,1 Royal part and 2 Princely parts.That all happened after palacerevolts and and undertsandable political plays of the VOC(the Dutch).Durin the Javanese War(1825-1830)the descendant monarchs of Mataram lost their temporal power to the Colonial Government of the Dutch East-Indish.That power was transferred in 1949(total independence of Indonesia)to the Republik Indonesia.The Susuhunan of Surakarta and the Sultan of Yogyakarta(as well as the Pangerans of resp. Mangkunegaran ]and Pakualaman)keep for the Javanese peope of their area their spiritual power and also (one of the things)they exert intensively to maintain the Palace culture of Central Java.Only the present Sultan of Yogyakarta;Hamengku Buwono X;is a special political player.He is Governor of the Special Province of Yogyakarta(Pangeran of Pakualaman is vice-Governor)and is seen as a modern monarch;he only has 1 Queen and 4 children(all daughters.)
Susuhunan Paku Buwono XII was put on the htrone in 1944 ;little bit more than 1 year before Soekarno and Hatta(1st President and Vice-President of Indonesia)proclaimed the Republik Indonesia.The Emperor represented the splitted character of the monarchistic system in a republic.He recognized the power of the central government in Jakarta and even was officer in the army,but maintained in his life the cCourtrituals.He memorised every year his beginning of his carrying the dignity with the Bedhaya Ketawang;a sacral dance ,which shows the bond between the monarchs of Mataram and the godess of the South Sea(a local spirityal power).
The present conflict is owed to the old Emperor.In februari 1993he told in a newspaperinterview,that his succesor as Emperor ,had to be a Prince,who knows,who can and acts according to the adat.Of all my 15 sons none of them is like that.The rule of the Palace is,that it had to be the oldest son.That is Prince Hangabehi,but his habits are not as it used to be.According to the Emperor.Prince Hangabehi was then complicated in a divorce and also had a little struggle to make his mental state strong.Also his mother wasn't the main/royal(chosen)wife of the Emperor.
The Emperor took 6 garwa ampil(Javanese for not the main royal wives,sometimes translated as concubines),but never choose a permaisuri(Royal wife).He said in 1993,that the wife of Susuhunan Paku Buwono XI(1939-1944);his mother;didn't want,that her place would be taken by another woman."Whoever you chosse as Empress;she said;you won't get my blessings,ven if I am dead."I had to obey.Since then the Emperor didn't change his mind.
According to Prince Puger;who supports the claims of Susuhunan Paku Buwono XII/Hangabehi,the Emperor gave his oldest son during the last dynastic familymeeting his blessing.He grapped his hand ,tapped on his shoulder and said:"Behi,you are my oldest son.You have to be strong,and sincere and protect others."Recently the Hangabehi camp showed a typed paper ,on which their candidate is assigned as heir to the throne and that is was made special short before the Emperors death by a inkprint of the thumb.The legality of the document isn't belived by the Tedjowoelancamp and ,because the Imperial seal os lacking on the document.The document is given to the police of Solo.
Mooriyati Soediboyo;the businesswoman;supports Tedjowoelan.She tells:"I know the 12th Emperor quite good.He never has showed a clear choice.He had no royal wife and that is why it is for the Courtofficials,who represent the palacegovernment and represent all the Princes and Princesses ;must assign a succesor.
They didn't have as standard only Imperial descent ,but because it has to do with a future monarch ,also knowledge of tradition,his character ,behaviour and acceptance by the people is important.
They consulted specialists of the Javanese cultures ,members of the courtsystem asnd important people from Solo and their choice was for Prince Tedjowoelan.The followed procedure is also more according to this so-called modern time.
The Hangabehi camp is lead by Princess Koes Moertiyah ;the 25th child of the deceased Emperor and member of parliament for the party of President Megawati Sukarnoputri.She accuses Prince Tedjowoelan ;a still functioning armyclonel;of political plays.He wanted after his installation to make poltical campaigns for the rival of Megawati in the endround of the presidential elections:not functioning general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono .
The battle for the palace is just begun.Princess Koes Moertiyah has asked the police to guard the Palace against the Tedjooelan camp,who had tried to take way Imperial possesions.
The pretender Prince Tedjowoelan(who also carries the title Sushunan Paku Buwono XIII)reacted to the newspaper Jakarta Post:"Moertiyah and and her companions have sold in the past regularly palace objects.We must save,what can be saved.
It is a tug of war between them in this succesionwar of Surakarta.
On 10 september 2004 is the installation date of Prince Hangabehi to be installed as Susuhunan Paku Buwono XIII.
By Dirk Vlasblom/newspaper NRC-Handelsblad.