Defending the Sultanate’s territory
Yogyakarta during the Indonesian decolonisation, 1942–50
in Monarchies and decolonisation in Asia
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The Sultan of Yogyakarta is the only royal figure in Indonesia who now retains an official government position, both as head of his sultanate and as hereditary governor of the province of Yogyakarta. This chapter explains how Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX (1912–88) was able to safeguard and strengthen that position through his support for Indonesian republicans in the struggle for independence against the Dutch in the 1940s, his negotiations with the new government to secure recognition of Yogyakarta as a ‘Special Region’ of the country, his own charisma and administrative abilities, as well as astute actions in favour of his subjects during this period. The contrasting case of Surakarta, where the sultanate survived for only a short time beyond independence, is also considered.

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