Archipelago

Conflict of power in Solo
palace continues

The reconciliation made one-and-a-half-years ago between the two conflicting parties in the Kasunanan Surakarta Palace, Central Java, has yet to end the rift among royal family members.

The palace custom institution, whose members were the members of Sentana Dalem (royal families), decided to take over the king’s authority.

Head of the custom institution, GKR Wandansari Koes Murtiyah, widely known as Gusti Moeng, argued that the reconciliation was only between Sampeyan Dalem Ingkang Sinuhun Kanjeng Susuhunan Pakubuwono (PB) XIII Hangabehi and Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Haryo (KGPH) Panembahan Agung (PA) Tedjowulan who both previously claimed to be the rightful king of the Kasunanan.

On May 16, 2012, Hangabehi and Tedjowulan made a reconciliation to end the eight years of conflict between them after Tedjowulan, who previously insisted on the position of king, agreed to cooperate with Hangabehi and to receive the new title of Panembahan Agung.

The reconciliation was marked with the return of Tedjowulan to the palace, after being ousted for eight years. Tedjowulan himself was scheduled to officially receive his new title as KGPH Panembahan Agung Tedjowulan as the palace Maha Menteri (Vice King) on Monday during the palace’s post Idul Fitri gathering.

Expressing refusal, Gusti Moeng and other Sentana Dalem members including Hangabehi’s eldest daughter GKR Timur Rumbai forced themselves into the king’s private residence in Sasana Narendra on Monday morning. Gusti Moeng believed that the king’s decision to inaugurate Tedjowulan was not the king’s pure initiative.

The move continued on Monday evening with the break-in of the palace’s Sasana Putra with a Hardtop by a group of people. They did so, reportedly, to look for Hangabehi, who was allegedly being kidnapped by Gusti Moeng.

The incident ended with the taking over of the king’s authority by the palace’s custom institution over arguments that Hangabehi was not in a good health both physically and mentally. Tedjowulan camp’s spokesperson KRH Bambang Pradotonagoro said his side would take the case through the legal process. He argued what Gusti Moeng had done could be considered as a coup attempt.

“What is it [the custom institution] exactly? It’s the king who has the authority to make a decision. [The instituation] should be dismissed because the people [in it] have disobeyed the king,” Bambang said.

Responding, head of the palace’s legal institute, KP Edy Wirabhumi, said that the collective decision made by the custom institution was the right thing to do because the king was considered to be unable to carry out his duty and to maintain the palace’s dignity.

“This is not a coup attempt because no replacement king was crowned,” Edy said.

Paper Edition | Page: 5

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