King, deputy locked out of palace
Two weeks after a reported reconciliation, KGPH Hangabehi and KGPH Tedjowulon, both heirs to the Surakarta Palace throne, were still unable to enter their royal residence as of Saturday due to the refusal of other members of the royal family.
“The two kings remain outside the palace as they have yet to be given access to Kemandungan [the palace]. They are still awaiting mediation from Mayor Joko Widodo,” spokesperson KRH Bambang Pradotonagoro said.
Internal conflict inside the Surakarta Palace unfolded following the death of Paku Buwono XII in 2004.
Half the palace members supported KGPH Hangabehi, the eldest son of Paku Biwono XII’s third wife KRAY Pradapaningrum, to succeed the throne, but the other half stood behind KGPH Tedjowulan, the son of second wife KRAY Retnodiningrum. Paku Buwono had six wives with 35 sons and daughters.
The two reconciled on May 10 when Hangabehi and Tedjowulan agreed to jointly rule the palace as the former king and entitled Paku Buwono XIII and the latter as his deputy with the title KGPH Panembahan Agung Tedjowulan.
The palace has still refused them access because the reconciliation was held in Jakarta and not at the palace.
The palace’s Kamandungan compound has been locked by the palace management.
“Both have decided to keep their distance from the palace for a while and stay at undisclosed locations, for security reasons,” KRH Bambang said.
He said the expected mayor’s mediation would be necessary to avoid another physical clash between both parties. Last week both were involved in a clash as Hangabehi and Tedjowulan forced their way into the palace.
Palace spokesperson KP Eddy Wirabhumi said that the palace did not reject the reconciliation but was only questioning why it was done in Jakarta without the presence of the palace representative as a witness.
“That is why the reconciliation is considered illegal and violates the palace’s rules because it was done outside the palace,” Eddy said.
Since Monday, some 40 royal servants grouped under the association of Surakarta Palace’s royal servants (Pakasa) hailing from as far as Klaten, Sragen and Karanganyar have been guarding the Kamandungan gate every day against the possibility of forced entrance by the two kings’ supporters.
Many, including historian Heri Priyatmoko, have expressed hope that the reconciliation signed between Hangabehi and Tedjowulan would end the internal conflict in the palace. “But it hasn’t. This has raised questions,” he said.
Speculation has grown that should Tedjowulan be allowed to enter the palace he would make an inventory of the palace’s treasure, including its precious royal collection. This has caused concern because many items from the collection have reportedly gone missing.
Surakarta Mayor Jokowi declined to say when and how the mediation, which he would initiate, would be done.
“Indeed, dialogue and discussion has to be built [between the conflicting parties]. It could be just once, 15 times or even more,” Jokowi said.
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