Thursday, October 13, 2016

How I'm Made a Dissident, an Emotional Man, and a Usual Suspect

[WARNING: If personal notes get you bored, don’t read this.]

I was 11 years old boy when EPRDF took power. As a kid, I had a confused feeling during the time the then 'Woyane' controlled Addis on Ginbot 20. During the nights before, we used to listen to 'Dimtsi Woyane’, radio broadcasted by TPLF from battlefield. I remember the elderlies were very worried however I kind of loved the guys from what they, the Woyanes, spoke on the radio. In addition, my father, despite being a member of the then national guard in the Ethio-Somalia border, had said he doesn't care if Derg is defeated, or at least my sister had told me he had said so. As a child, I was looking at the opportunity of being reunited with my father when that happens. 

Even though the 'Woyanes' were portrayed like monsters by the time they took control of Addis Ababa, I liked them. I stared at them wondering at their never-cut hair, old shorts, and sandals. I told a couple of them that I love them when they come to our village for disarmament and search for illegal holds of arms.

Soon later, they are worn with good uniforms and 'kesikis' shoes which I had wished to have a pair. Their name became popularly EPRDF and the 'Woyane' turned a derogatory term for 'Derg' propagandists already associated it with equivalence to 'separatists'.

EPRDF took control of state-owned and widely listened radio station monopoly and preached a lot about democracy, national liberation, equal rights, and so on. It was my formative age. Everything I listened to was sweet and persuasive. On the contrary, the elderly in our neighborhood became so critical of the new regime. I didn't know why but I thought it was only because it is a government that EPRDF is hated and that only because newly formed opposition political parties are not given the governing chance, that they are preferred.

I didn't know why people became more concerned about their ethnic background. Discussions of the older people seemed always as if there is something to be worried about. I couldn't get the slightest idea of what bothered them until I turned 18 and went with my father to 'Kebele' to get an ID. I was asked what my 'nationality' (not citizenship but ethnicity) was. I never felt like belonging to any ethnic group before. I turned my face toward my father who took almost a minute to respond to. He looked like he lost an internal battle immediately after that. My mother and father are from different regions (at least by birth) and it never mattered before. Until now, telling the 'nationality/ethnicity written on my ID is embarrassing to me. I always felt it isn't representative of my identity. It is like I’m legally forced to feel belonged to one group and not to the rest.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sharing the Burden…

How many prisoners of conscience do you think are held in Qilinto, Kality, Shoa Robit and Zeway Federal prisons for having different political thoughts to the regime in Ethiopia? In Qilinto alone, there are estimated of 500 of them who are not convicted yet. How many of these are recognized by the public to whom they are sacrificing?

My arrest and 18 months of stay in prison has helped me meet a lot of prisoners. I met a guy who has never heard the name of a rebel group (Amhara Democratic Forces Movement) of which he was accused being a member; I met a guy who is accused for affiliation of Oromo Liberation Front whose leaders he can't name; I met the ex-president of regional state of Gambella, Air Force Capitans, and many others who has no one to visit, hire a lawyer, or even to remember to… By the time I was held in Qilinto, many Ethiopians who raised religious freedom from State interference, Gondere Amharas, Oromo University students, youths from Gambella and Benishangul Gumuz, Tigrians who were suspected for having affiliation to the Tigrian rebel group, and many Ethiopian Somalis were held there. Many of these share the same cahllenge: they have no one to give the least recognition why they were jailed. I used to deliberately avoid hearing stories of these inmates while I was there to avoid the feeling that I can't do any good for them. After my release, the feeling haunts me in different form. I sometimes ask myself if I might feel better jailed than to helplessly do nothing as a 'free man'.

A week before the wake of Ethiopian new year, Qilinto prison caught in fire. Guards shot many prisoners dead when they try to escape the fire. Now, the survivors are distributed to other prisons, Shoa Robit and Zeway, while a few others are left to stay in a undamaged zone in Qilinto. The prisoners who are moved to other prisons had no shoes (were barefooted) and have no clothes to change. Those who have regular visitos are now given with pair of slippers and cloths to change, but most political prisoners whose family members and friends are in remote rural areas are still on barefoot. Even worse, no one knew which one of them did make it alive from the blaze for they have no one who speaks about what had happened to them. (Prison admins claimed the dead are 23 but informal reports indicate more than 70 prisoners are missing.)

If you ask me how many of these 500 political prisoners in Qilinto have actually committed a crime, my answer would be 'maybe ten'. One way or another, all of them are victims for trying what they thought would bring better change for their people. They are people who care.

These prisoners of conscience are not all well known. They do not have family and friends support. Most of them are from remote rural areas. Some of them were breadwinners for their families before their arrest and they don't know the fate of their respective families after they are jailed. In addition to this and physical and psychological abuses in prison, they also have to face a lot of challenges:

1. They don't have basic necessities (such as clothes to change, blankets, pyjamas, towels…) nor pocket money to buys some things such as cleaning detergents, toothbrushes and toothpastes, or even to have a cup of coffee once a week. However, there are a few job opportunities for prisoners, they are not allowed for political priosners.

2. They miss someone who talk to them. Most of the political prisoners have no one visiting them regularly. Even though they do have many inmates, none of them can replace the feeling visitors give a prisonor.

3. They need information. They want to know what is going on in the country. They don't have any reliable source of information other than windfall rumors and EBC's state-led biased reports. They need to update themselves with contemporary realities.

These are all mere wishes to many of the political priosners.

The way we support the political prisoners has a direct implication for those who are trying their best to make a change in the country. They will either be encouraged for they will have our support in case they fall victims of the regime or not. This is why we need to ask what we can do.

Currently, it is only a few concerned citizens who are visiting and trying to help political prisoners at regular basis. This has made the burden on these people very much. What if each of us try to do what we can? What if those of us who have the time select a political prisoner and keep visiting her/him regularly? What if those of us who have the money keep contributing some regularly? Wouldn't this be a great deal of care and promise for those who are sacrificing for a better world?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

EthiopiaProtests: ‘የበሰለው ፍሬ’

ሐምሌ 2006 ከማዕከላዊ ወደ ቂሊንጦ ስዛወር፣ ዞን ሁለት ነበር የተመደብኩት። በወቅቱ በሽብር የተከሰሱ ብዙ ጎንደሬዎች ነበሩ። አልጋው ሥር "ደቦቃ" በማስተኛት ያስተናገደኝም ቢራራ የተባለ ጎንደሬ ነበር። ከዚያ በፊት ከሥሙ በስተቀር የማላውቀውን ፋሲል ደሞዝን አንድ ዘፈን ያስተዋወቀኝ እሱ ነው። ዘፈኑን እስከዛሬ ባልሰማውም ሁለቱን ስንኞች ግን በቃሌ ይዣቸዋለሁ። "አረሱትን አልሰማኸውም?" አለኝ ድጋሚ 'አልሰማሁትም' አልኩት ባለማወቄ ሲገረም አይቼ እያፈርኩ፤ ስንኞቹን ነገረኝ።

"አረሱት ይሉኛል የመተማን መሬት፣
ያውም የኛን ዕጣ
እነሱ ምን ያርጉ ከኛ ሰው ሲታጣ።"

ሰሞኑን 17 ያህል አርቲስቶች ለአዲስ ዓመት ዋዜማ አቅደውት የነበረውን የሙዚቃ ድግስ በሐዘናችን ምክንያት መሰረዛቸውን ሰማሁ። አርቲስቶቻችን ሰው እየወጣቸው ነው ማለት ነው የሚል ስሜት ተሰማኝ። እኛው ያከበርናቸው አርቲስቶች የሕዝባችንን ሐዘን ማክበር ከጀመሩ ትግላችንንም የሚቀላቀሉበት ግዜ ሩቅ አይሆንም፣ እኛም 'አርቲስት' የሚለውን ቃል ስድብ ከማድረግ እንቆጠባለን እያልኩ ሳስብ ሳልሰማቸው ያመለጡኝ ብዙ የትግል ዘፈኖች እንዳሉ ተረዳሁ።

የኦሮምኛ ዘፋኞች ዘፈንን የትግል መሣሪያ ማድረግ ከጀመሩ ሰንበትበት ብለዋል። ሁሉም ዕኩል መደመጥ አልቻሉም እንጂ ባለፈው አንድ ዓመት በአማካይ በቀን አንድ የትግል ዘፈን እየለቀቁ ነበር። ከሁሉም ግን በጣም ተወዳጅ የሆነውና ቋንቋውን የማታውቁትን ሳይቀር የሚወዘውዘው የሀጫሉ 'ማለን ጅራ' ነበር፤ ስለዚህ ዘፈንም መጀመሪያ የሰማሁት እዚያው ቂሊንጦ በመጣ ወሬ ነው።

ኪነ ጥበብ ትግሉን ሲቀላቀል የትግሉን መብሰል የሚያሳይ ምልክት አድርጌ ነው የማየው። በአዲስ አበባ መንግሥትን በገደምዳሜ የሚወርፉ ትያትሮች ከሌሎቹ የበለጠ ብዙ ተመልካች አላቸው፣ የመግቢያ ዋጋቸውም ውድ ነው። ምክንያቱም የሕዝቡን ዝምታ ይናገራሉና። አሁንም፣ አርቲስቶቻችን የትግል ዘፈኖችን ሲዘፍኑ በሕዝብ ልብ ውስጥ ያላቸው ዋጋ ይጨምራል።

ስለፋሲል ደሞዝ እነዚያ ስንኞች ሳወራ ወንድሜ "‹እንቆቅልሽ› የሚለውን አታውቀውም?" አለኝ። አላውቀውም ነበር። ይገርማል ፋሲልን ለመጀመሪያ ጊዜ በዚህ ዘፈኑ ሰማሁት፣ አየሁት። ክሊፑ ላይ፣ ሴቲቱ እንቆቅልሽ ትጠይቀውና መልሱን ባለማወቁ "አገር ስጠኝ" ትለዋለች፣ እሱ ግን እንዲህ ይላታል።

በሰም ለበስ ቅኔ፣
አሁን ገና፣ መጣሽብኝ ባይኔ።"

ፋሲል "በይ ደስም አላልሽኝ ጨዋታ ቀይሪ" እያለ ሲያንጎራጉር የሆነ ልብን የሚኮረኩር ኃይል አለው። ወንድሜ "ይሄ ይገርምሃል እንዴ?" አለኝና የይሁኔ በላይ አዲሱን ዘፈን አስደመጠኝ። ለወትሮው፣ ይሁኔን ከፍቼ የማዳምጠው ዘፋኝ አልነበረም። ይሄንን 'ሰከን' የሚለውን ዘፈኑን ስሰማው ግን የማላውቀው ስሜት ልቤን አተራመሰው።

"…ሰከን በል፣
ሰከን ማለት፣
ነው ጨዋነት
ሰከን ማለት፣
ነው ጀግንነት
ወታደሩ፣ ሰከን በል
አፈሙዙን ሰከን አርገው፣
ቃታህንም እንዳትስበው፣
ባዶ እጁን ነው፣ የሚጮኸው፣
ሠላማዊ፣ ወንድምህ ነው፣
ሰከን በሉ፣ ሕዝቤን ተዉት
ድምፁን ስሙት፣ አትግደሉት…"

በማለት የመንግሥትን ሀጢያት "…ውጉዝ ከመአርዮስ" ብሎ በማውገዝ፣ ስለኅብረት ሲባል፣ "በወላጁ ጥፋት፣ አይወቀስ ልጁ" እያለ መስከንን ይመክራል።

ናቲ ማን ቀጠለ። ናቲ ደግሞ በኦሮምኛ ስልተ ምት "አሁን ተነካሁ" እያለ፣ እሽክም፣ እሽክም አስባለኝ።

"ኦሮሞን፣ ኦሮሞን ሲከፋው
አሁን ተነካሁ
አማራን፣ አማራን ሲከፋው
አሁን ተነካሁ…"

ከዚያ ደግሞ የመስፍን በቀለ ዜማ ቀጠለ። በቀረርቶ የሚጀምረው የመስፍን "ሠላም ለኢትዮጵያ" አዲስ ትውልድ መጥቷል ይላል። ወራደሩንም እንዲህ ይለዋል፦

"ወታደሩ ጓዴ፣ አንተ ያገሬ ሰው፣
ወንድምክን አትግደል፣ ብረትክን መልሰው።…"

ሌንሴ ለሜሳ ደግሞ ጆሮ በሚለሰልስ ድምፅዋ፣ "ተነቃንቋል" ትላለች፣

"ተነቃንቋል ጥርሱ ይነቀል፣
ይነቀል ይውለቅ
የአሉላ የጆቴን ትከሉበት ወርቅ፣
ክፍተቱ እንዲሞላ ውበቱ እንዲደምቅ።…"

መክፈቻዬ ላይ የጠቀስኩትን ፋሲል ደሞዝን መዝጊያም ላድርገው። በቅርቡ በለቀቀው ዘፈኑ እንዲህ ይላል፣

"…ኧረግ ወዲያልኝ (ወዲያልኝ)
ኧረግ ወዲያልኝ (ወዲያልኝ)
በቃ ሒድልኝ (ሒድልኝ)
25 ዓመት አላገጥክብኝ።…"

ክብር ለእነዚህ አርቲስቶች ይሁን!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

#Ethiopia: "What is the Solution?"

Some Facebook friends are recently tagging me with their posts of 'solutions' to the contemporary crisis in Ethiopia. (i.e. the anti-government protests in Oromia and Amhara, two biggest regions in Ethiopia). Most of these Facebook friends recommend maintenance or what's otherwise called 'cosmetic change' to the regime. Others seem to be conspirators against the 'unprecedented' cooperation of biggest players in Ethiopian politics, the Oromo and Amhara people, against the ruling Tigrian elites group, TPLF.  (The group claims to represent 6% of Ethiopian people (Tigrians) as compared to 62% - Amhara + Oromo people). The latter (of facebook friends suggesting solutions) claimed that it is only Oromo Protests that's genuine and some went far to portraying Amhara protests as an act of power mongering.

There is no Half Liberty!

In my opinion, it is hardly possible to give one sect of a society its freedom and denying the rest. Freedom will either be assured for all or is denied for all. One of the nations in Ethiopia cannot be given regional autonomy and proportional representation in the federation while others are denied these. It will be oppressed with the rest, or get freedom with them. Even TPLF (which is the supreme Front in the coalition of four parties in the name of EPRDF) including its makers and supporters will only get liberated or be free when it lets others free. The common understanding that a jailer is not free until it frees its prisoners is true. One has to free their prisoners to regain their freedom of movement; otherwise, they will have to be sitting there watching their victims. 

So What to Do?

The solution should be all inclusive. But this happens only if all of us have the genuine intention to compromise on our interests for the sake of justice, fairness and peace. Now, all the power and opportunity is controlled by the ruling party, EPRDF. So, EPRDF must be the sole body willing for this to be true. The issue is freeing the party itself as well as its dissent. Otherwise, however its oppression increases, the public grievance and riot will also increase and the challenge that can be solved through compromise today may not tomorrow. 

In this, maybe naïve, understanding of mine that EPRDF may become willing to hear alternative solutions, I suggest a filtered compilation of alternative solutions from what I heard of people's recommendations.

1) Apology

Ethiopian people deserve an apology. TPLF/EPRDF should ask the Ethiopian people an apology for all the mistakes and wrong doings that it has done from its conception up until today and even for leading the country to a dangerous end. This has to be done in a written format.

2) Amnesty and Warranty 

We have to cross the bridge of past failures at some point. EPRDF should give amnesty and release all people who were convicted and are on hearings of court proceedings in relation to their political stance. The amnesty should not be with any pre- & post-conditions. In addition, the ruling group should cancel the proclamation that labelled dissent organizations as 'terrorists';  it should give warranty for the return of exiled politicians, journalists and activists so that they would be able to contribute for the political fate of their country. Rebel groups should also be given the guarantee to peacefully and legally act according to their political program. A proclamation of amnesty and warranty should be passed by the parliament as to this end. 

3) Discourse

Anti-terrorism proclamation, the charity law and the press laws inacted in the country are used to restrict democratic discourse. Therefore, they should be cancelled for the time being until a legitemate house ratifies other ones (or until it amends them in a way) that don't stifle constitutional rights. In the mean time, successive and multiple country-wide dialogue that are broadcasted live in the state-owened television with the participation of all stake holders and with moderation of international rights groups should be conducted.  

4) Election

Finally, by freezing the current parliament including the electoral board and by establishing a temporary electoral board of technocrats from other independent countries, there should a new election to be launched at ‘national’ and regional level.

Having suggested that, I have also considered possible criticisms for these alternative solutions:

A) These don't consider TPLF's position not to ever compromise;

B) A naïve comment that has assumed the recent protests have shakendown EPRDF's hold;

C) A solution that encourages dependency on foreign support;

D)  A comment that disregarded the immediate necessity of resolving the controversial issues regarding federal structure, electoral system, Parliament system, land ownership and others in the constitution.

Regarding the first two possible comments (put in 'A' & 'B'), it is because I have the fear that the crisis we are in go worse than better that I wanted to take the risk of being ignored speaking rather than keeping quite. On the other hand, I suggested the participation of independent foriegn technocrats and rights groups because they are the only possible bodies who wouldn't have much interest to rig the election for transition. My answer for the possible criticism put in 'D' is my enthusiasm that if we once established a legitimate house of representatives, the rest would be taken care of by them. Controversial issues will always be there. But, in the way down the road from there, everything to reform including constitutional ammendments is possible for it is easy to do so once a platform is lay for democracy. The most urgent and important issue, for me, now is forming a legitimate government for the majority.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Understanding Ethiopia’s Crisis through Rio Olympic

"Sport is a profession that needs discipline," Haile Gebresilasie told to one FM radio sports show in Addis. Haile Gebresilasie is the most known and successful Ethiopian athlete who has broken more than three dozens of records from 1,500 meters to marathon races. He said "Athletic federation should not be ruled by people who are politically assigned; if we're continuing in the same manner, the worst is yet to come." He was talking about the fact that Ethiopia's scores at the Rio Olympic have declined as compared to previous Olympic Games. The Ethiopian Olympic Committee had planned to bring at least 4 Gold, 4 Silver and 4 Bronze medals in Rio Olympic 2016 where it has returned with only eight medals: 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 5 Bronze medals standing far behind its usual competitor team Kenya.

'Robel The Whale' – the Symbol for Nepotism

Ethiopia had begun its participation in Rio Olympic in an ever embarrassing 100 meters free style swimming race. Robel Kiros is the son of the President for Ethiopian Swimming Sport Federation. Robel went to Rio with his father. According to Addis Admass, a weekly Amharic newspaper, there were claims that his coach was not allowed to go to Rio with Robel because the budget allocated for the Olympic is used by his father. Robel finished the race 59th out of 59 participants and he finished it 17 seconds later to the pacesetter. His body wasn't athletic at all and Ethiopian social media sphere was hit by criticism over his defeat and in question how he could make it to there.

The annoying fact is that Robel's father is from Tigray, a region with 6% of Ethiopian population, from where the ruling group has emerged out. People took this as an act of nepotism not just because Kiros Habte (Robel's Father) is from Tigray but also because out of nine Ethiopia's sports federations six presidents and two deputy presidents are Tigrians. Like wise, in the federal government of Ethiopia, most powerful positions are taken by Tigrians who are TPLF members and it was easy for everyone to easily take Robel's embarrassing defeat at the Rio and his unprecedented participation as symbol to the nepotism widespread in the country.

Feyisa Lilesa – the Heroic Symbol for Public Protests

Ethiopia's last participation in Rio was in men's marathon race on which Feyisa Lilesa gave the world another but different experience than 'Robel the whale' had given. A husband and father for two, Feyisa Lilesa, has become silver medalist in Rio Marathon Men Race. Feyisa, upon crossing the finishing line of the race (and later when he sat for press conference), has displayed a political protest by crossing his arms up in a symbolic way Ethiopian political protesters use to show that they are not free.

Feyisa, unlike Robel, is from Oromia, the biggest and most populous region in Ethiopia's federation. Oromo people have been protesting for at least the past 10 months continuously over injustices and marginalisation while losing more than 600 lives during brutal attempts of police to crackdown the protests. Feyisa, like Robel, has become a hot agenda in Ethiopian social media community but, again unlike Robel, it was with joy and admiration that everybody was referring to him. 

From Robel To Feyisa

Robel is a privileged loser where as Feyisa is the un-favored winner. Robel is coming back to his country however it is too risky for Feyisa to enter the country. Feyisa himself said to journalists at Rio, "if not kill me, they will send me to prisons". Robel vowed that he will participate in a better condition in the next Olympic Games to be held in 2020 in Tokyo. This seems unlikely for Feyisa. By gesturing political protest, Feyisa put his career at risk. He might face sanctions from International Olympic Committee for showing prohibited political gesture during the game.

On the other hand, Robel remains a hated symbol of nepotism in Ethiopia whereas Feyisa is already portraid as the son of his people. Feyisa may become Stateless or end up refugee in another country; and/or he may be revoked from the medalists list where he finished second; but, he will always remain the symbol of defiance at the hearts of concerned Ethiopians.

Monday, August 8, 2016

ቋንቋችንን እንታዘበው

በፍቃዱ ኃይሉ

፩. Independence, Freedom, Liberty (ነጻነት የቱ ነው? የቱስ አይደለም?)

"ነጻነት ውስብስብ ነው" ብዬ ልጀምር።ነጻነትየሚለውን የአማርኛ ቃል በተለምዶ ከላይ የዘረዘርኳቸውን ሦስቱንም የእንግሊዝኛ ቃላት ለመተርጎም እንጠቀምበታለን። ትርጉሙ ግን ሁሌም አጥጋቢ አይሆንም።

ቃላት ባብዛኛው ደረቅ አይደሉም ፅንሰ-ሐሳብ (concept) ያዝላሉ። የሆነ ፅንሰ-ሐሳብን የሚወክሉ ቃላቶች በሆነ ቋንቋ ውስጥ የሉም ማለት የዚያ ፅንሰ-ሐሳብ በቋንቋው ተናጋሪው ማኅበረሰብ ዘንድ እምብዛም አይታወቅም እንደ ማለት ነው። ፅንሰ-ሐሳቡን በቃላት ቀንብቦ ማስቀመጥ መቻልና ብዙኃን በየለት ንግራቸው እንዲጠቀሙበት ማድረግ መቻል ቃሉን ከነፅንሰ-ሐሳቡ በማኅበረሰቡ ውስጥ ማስረፅ ማለት ነው። ይህንን ለማስረዳት ቀላሉ መንገድ የአየር ሁኔታን መግለጽ ነው። በረዶ (Ice) እና snow (የበረዶ ብናኝ እንበለው) ሁለት የተለያዩ ነገሮች ናቸው፤ በአማርኛ ግን የሚጠሩት በአንድ ሥም - በረዶ - ተብለው ነው። Frost (snow ወይም የበረዶ ብናኝ የለበሰ ተራራ) አመዳይ ይባላል። በአገራችን የሌለ በመሆኑ ሥሙ የውሰት እና እምብዛም የማይታወቅ በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ላይ (መዝ 147: 16) ከመገኘቱ በቀር ቃሉም፣ ሐሳቡም በማኅበረሰቦቻችን ዘንድ የሌለ ነገር ነው። Tornado የሚለው ቃል የአማርኛ አቻ የለውም፤ ምክንያቱም በሐሳብ ደረጃም እምብዛም አይታወቅም። ሩቅ ምሥራቃውያን በየጊዜው ለሚያጠቃቸው የነፋስ እና የማዕበል ዓይነት (ነፋስን ከነፋስ፣ ማዕበልን ከማዕበል) የሚለዩባቸው እልፍ ቃላት አሏቸው። የቃላት እና ሐሳብ ቁርኝት እንዲህ ይገለጻል።

ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥነጻነትየሚለው ቃል እና ፅንሰ-ሐሳብ በአማርኛ ተናጋሪው ዘንድ እንዴት ነው እየታየ ያለው? መነባንቡ (rhetoric) ብቻ ነው ወይስ ግንዛቤውም አብሮት አለ? አብረን እንፈትሽ።

ምሳሌ ፩፦

A) Ethiopia is an independent country.
B) Zone 9 is an independent blogosphere.
C) She is an independent woman.

በሚሉት ሦስት /ነገሮች ውስጥ ‘independent’ የሚለው ቃል ሦስት ተለምዷዊ ትርጉሞች አሉት፣

) ኢትዮጵያ "ነጻ" አገር ናት።
) ዞን ነጻየጡመራ መድረክ ነው።
) እሷነጻሴት ናት።

ሦስቱ ቃላቶች በዐውድ (context) የተለያዩ ቢመስሉም በመሠረታቸው አንድ ናቸው። ሁሉም፣ማንም ላይ ጥገኛ ያልሆነ/ወይምራሱ/ሷን የቻለ/የሚለውን ሐሳብ ያዘሉ ናቸው። ነገርዬው በራስ ጉዳይ ላይ ውሳኔ ለመስጠት ወይም በሌሎች ጉዳይ ላይ አቋም ለመያዝ የማንም ተፅዕኖ የሌለበት እንደማለት ነው። መቶ በመቶ ራስን መቻል ወይም ከሌሎች ተፅዕኖ መላቀቅ የሚባል ነገር አለ ብዬ ባላምንም የሌሎችን በራስ ጉዳይ ጣልቃ ገብነት በእጅጉ መቀነስ መቻልንራስን መቻልብለን ብንጠራው አይከፋኝም። በላይኞቹ ምሳሌዎች ላይ ‘independence’ ራስን መቻል ወይም ገለልተኛ የሚሉት ቃላቶች ሊተኩት ይችላሉ።