Thursday, June 30, 2016
Indonesian Javanese Ruler Wants His Eldest Daughter To Be Monarch
Coutiers in elaborate outfits dance to the gentle tinkling of Javanese music as the sultan of Yogyakarta looked on, a scene that has played out much in the same way for centuries in the tiny Indonesian kingdom. But the recent ceremony to mark the 70th birthday of Hamengku Buwono X, Indonesia's last Sultan with real political power has one key difference from the previous celebrations- many of his relatives refused to attend. A bitter feud has erupted at the heart of the kingdom on Java Island, as th Muslim ruler signalled he wants his eldest daughter to become Sultanate's first female monarch after he leaves th throne. Indonesia is home to numerous small kingdoms. While other provinces elect political rulers, and their sultans are mainly ceremonial figures, Yogyakarta's sultan serves both as royal leader and governor of the city and its surrounding areas. Djakarta allows Yogyakarta's royal family to keep the power as central government is gratful for his support for independence in 1945 after a long period of Dutch colonial rule. But the sultan's push to make eldest of his five daughters-he has no son- the first female monarch of Yogyakarta has transformed him into an unlikely champion of gender equality, and threatens to overturn hundereds of years of traditions in the Muslim conservative sultanate.