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Current Monarch and Government

His Majesty Pakubuwono XII was the longest King who ever been ruled Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate for about 59 years from 1945 AD until 2004 AD. The reign of His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII has experienced all regimes in Indonesian Government started from the early Independence Days of the Republic of Indonesia, Indonesian sovereignty, Sukarno's Old Order, also the “New Order” regime under Suharto's command of the second President of the Republic of Indonesia's ruling for 32 years, also the initial order of reformation (1998-1999) led by President BJ Habibie, the reign of President Abdurrahman Wahid or called Gus Dur who ruled in 1999-2001 followed by President Megawati Sukarnoputri during 2001-2004, until the era of United Indonesia Cabinet under the leadership of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who has been serving for two periods from 2004 until the next year of 2014.

During his leadership that has exceeded all regimes, His Majesty Pakubuwono XII experienced many events related with tidal relationship between Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate with Indonesian Government, especially in the early Independence Days of the Republic of Indonesia to the “Old Order” under the leadership of President Sukarno. Soon after the coronation day as King of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate on June 12, 1945, Indonesia proclaimed its Independence on August 17, 1945. Therefore, the people of Surakarta call His Majesty Pakubuwono by the name Sinuwun Amardika, due being crowned towards the Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia.

Soon after the Republic of Indonesia declared as an independent and sovereign country, His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII received a letter of recognition in the form of Charter Kalenggahan Ingkang Jumeneng Kepala Daerah Istimewa Surakarta from the Republic of Indonesia signed by Sukarno as the first President of the Republic of Indonesia, dated August 19, 1945. After that, on September 1, 1945, His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII issued a proclamation to all residents of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate regarding the position of the Palace to Indonesian Government. Here are the contents of His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII’s proclamation dated on September 1, 1945:

  1. We Pakubuwono XII, the King of Surakarta Hadiningrat as an empire has been become one of the Special Regions of the Republic of Indonesia, and will stand behind the Central Government of the Republic of Indonesia.
  2. We declare that the basic power in Surakarta Hadiningrat lies on His Majesty’s hand. Under some circumstances, the powers that have gone from our hands are back automatically into our hands.
  3. We declare that the relationship between Surakarta Hadiningrat with the Central Government of the Republic of Indonesia is direct (not through local government).
  4. We rule and believe the whole population of Surakarta Hadiningrat will behave in accordance with our rules.

Prior to the Independence Day or precisely in the era of Physical Revolution as the return of the Dutch, who tried to get back the power of Indonesia, His Majesty Pakubuwono XII obtained an honorary military rank (titular) Lieutenant-General from President Sukarno. This position made His Majesty Pakubuwono XII often believed to accompany the President to review some of the battlefields, especially during the second military aggression of Dutch occurred since December 19, 1948.

The unstable security state in Post-Independence Days made pressured situation in Surakarta. His Majesty Pakubuwono XII bravely participated directly in the struggle against Physical Revolution. On September 12 and October 13, 1945, His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII raided the Kenpetai headquarter located in Kemlayan and Timuran, Solo, along with local and royal armies. The attack was successful and His Majesty Pakubuwono XII was in safe condition. However, one of royal relatives was died in that attack, namely Arifin. His Majesty Pakubuwono XII endowed him with the award of “Tanda Tabuh Tabet” in the form of Sri Kabadyo Medal Level III. In addition, the funeral was also done under aristocratic procedure. The body remain was raised to Layon Kagungan Dalem Cart pulled by four horses and accompanied by several royal soldiers of bregodo. In October 1945, His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII participated again in the raid operation to Kido Butai Headquarter located in the area of Mangkubumen, Solo.

Since October 19, 1945, the High Commissioner changed the administrative system of Surakarta from Delegation to Directorate and formed Collegial Bestuur that led by RP Soeroso together with His Majesty Pakubuwono XII and Sri Paduka Mangkunegoro VIII as its member. However, His Majesty Pakubuwono XII and Sri Paduka Mangkunegoro VIII considered and opposed back as it was against the rules of democracy. Finally, on November 1, 1945, His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono was believed and appointed the Head of Directoria and Sri Paduka Mangkunegoro VIII was his Vice. 

Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate has substantial role in supporting the struggle to maintain the Indonesian Independence by providing logistics and equipments, such as vehicles, weapons, shelters, funding, and so on, which all for the sake of the sovereignty of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia. Of the roles and services from Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate under the leadership of His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII, the government of the Republic of Indonesia through the Board Class ‘45 endowed him with Guerrilla Star medal and charter on October 28, 1995. After the handover of full sovereign power from the Dutch to the Republic of Indonesia in 1949, a concept regarding the position of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate was formed under the auspices of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia.  

Meanwhile, domestic political situation was in chaotic under the presence such movement of Social Revolution occurred in Sumatra. The movement was merely done by Indonesian people who did not stand to the nobles (feudal) whom have been accused as the Dutch accomplice. On October 17, 1945, one confidant of His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII, namely KRMH Sosrodiningrat, has been kidnapped. This kidnapping caused the situation in Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate to be pressured and immediately His Majesty appointed KRMH Sosrodiningrat’s replacement charged as Pepatih Dalem, namely KRMT Yudonegoro who also worried for his own safety. Just like what he was afraid of, he been kidnapped by the Social Revolution precisely on March 15, 1946.

KRMH Wuryaningrat was appointed to fill the position of Pepatih Dalem in Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate, but apparently he has not lasted long enough until the kidnapping occurred on him despite he finally be freed. The strained atmosphere has not stopped haunting Surakarta. On April 12, 1946, another act of kidnapping occurred. This time, the victims were nine officials of Kepatihan in Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate. This threatening condition affected to some Regents to decide on separating from the Government of Special District Surakarta. On April 26, 1946, for example, Klaten Regency had separated followed by Sragen Regency one day after. On July 3, 1946, Boyolali Regency announced to be separated from the Government of Special District Surakarta.

On May 23, 1946, there was held a meeting between the Central Government of the Republic of Indonesia represented by Sultan Sjahrir, Amir Syarifuddin, and Sudarsono, with the Government of Special District Surakarta, represented by His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII, Sri Paduka Adipati Mangkunegoro VIII, KRMTH Wuryaningrat, and KRMTH Partohandoyo, to discuss the matters of Surakarta. The meeting which took place in the building Javanche Solo Bank (now Bank Indonesia, Solo) was resulted some agreements to solve the chaotic situation and it feared to spread. One of the agreements was the power of Special District Surakarta is temporarily held by the central government of the Republic of Indonesia. Thus, Surakarta’ status of Special District was temporarily abolished. 

To determine the positions of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate and Kadipaten Mangkunegaran after the absence of the Government of Special Region Surakarta, the central government of the Republic of Indonesia issued a Government Decision No.16/SD/46 dated June 15, 1946 mentioned that before the form of Government in the Sunanate and Mangkunegaran being established, both of them are temporary residency as well as other areas led by a Resident who led the entire civil service authorities (government officials) and the security forces (police). Since then, Surakarta Region which had been belonging to Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate and Kadipaten Mangkunegaran became one residency of Central Java Province. His Majesty Pakubuwono XII and Sri Paduka Mangkunegeoro VIII were no longer authorized in politics and government; the Kings were merely just a symbol.

On August 8, 1946, the central government of the Republic of Indonesia issued a Government Regulation in Lieu of Law which stated that the establishment of People's Representative Council in Surakarta was in charge of managing local region’s matters, while its power remains in the hands of Resident who has been appointed by the central government. Less than one year later, in June 1947, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia issued Law no. 16/47 which set the establishment of the city is headed by a mayor, including for Surakarta. The power of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate and Kadipaten Mangkunegaran was increasingly limited as the law in 1948 contains regarding the appointment of the Head of the Special Region who has always been chosen from the descendants of Royal family.  

Furthermore, on November 24, 1951, His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII received a letter from the Council of Ministers No. 66/5/38 contains the government regulation draft of Surakarta. Subsequently, on January 15, 1952, His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII flew to Jakarta to give an explanation of the Swapraja Surakarta (Autonomous region) to the Council of Ministers. On this occasion, His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII explained that the autonomous region would not be able to overcome the turbulences occurred and equipped with weapons, while the autonomous region itself does not have their power. Consequently, the President approved and recognized the power of Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate.

Since June 9, 1954, His Majesty Sri Sultan Pakubuwono XII left Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate to continue his education in Jakarta. His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII entrusted Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Haryo (KGPH) Koesoemojoedo as his representative to take control in Sunanate. His Majesty returned from Jakarta on February 15, 1956 and immediately took control the power and assisted by the Advisory Board of Surakarta Palace. Subsequently, His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII formalized the establishment of institutions Pawiyatan Surakarta Palace of Culture on April 24, 1956. In addition, on November 17, 1964, His Majesty Sri Pakubuwono XII effectively obtained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel from President Sukarno.

The relationship between Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate and the government of the Republic of Indonesia started to recover after the President Sukarno replaced by Suharto as President of the Republic of Indonesia officially since 1968 although the seat has already occupied since one year earlier. On January 31, 1985, there was fire accident in Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate, exactly at 21.00 pm. The buildings inside the Palace complex which caught fire were Parasedya Sasana, Sasana Sewaka, Sasana Handrawina, Dalem Prabasuyasa, Dayinta, and Paningrat. Therefore, His Majesty Pakubuwono XII reported the matter to President Suharto, who replaced Sukarno as the President of the Republic of Indonesia on February 5, 1985.

One day later, President Suharto immediately formed a committee Rebuilding Private Palaces 13 Surakarta or committee consisting of 13 people who were General Surono, LB Moerdani General, Maj. Gen. Soejono Humardani, Ir. Soeyono Sosrodarsono, Ir. Soedjarwo, Ir. Purnomosidi, Prof. Dr. Subroto, Harmoko, Ir. Hartarto, Lt. Gen. GPH. Djatikoesoema, Aryodarmoko, Ismail and Sudwikatmono, in charge of planning the renovation and reconstruction of buildings burned in the Palace complex that completed on December 17, 1987.

On July 16, 1988, Soesilo Sudarman as the envoy of President of the Republic of Indonesia met His Majesty Pakubuwono XII in Surakarta Hadiningrat Sunanate to present Presidential Decree No. 23, July 16, 1988, which states that Surakarta Palace became the National Cultural Resources of Indonesia and it should be conserved and developed. The government set the grounds belong to Palace are from Gladag to Gading including some buildings, such as the square and the Great Mosque ruled by His Majesty Pakubuwono XII used for custom purposes as well as various events for the sake of tourism.

Precisely in March 1992, Indonesian Government issued Law no. 5/92 regarding the heritage objects includes man-made objects, either moving or not, in the form of unit or group or just a part or remnants that at least 50 years and considered to have significance story for the history, science, and culture. This definition strengthened the position of Surakarta Sunanate Palace as one of the heritage objects that must be protected. Thus, any eviction in Surakarta Sunanate is not allowed on any pretext.

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Sino.AS February 14, 2013 13:37

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