Tinga Seisay


Tinga Seisay

Infobox_Politician
name=Tinga Seisay
nationality=Sierra Leonean


imagesize = 149px
image caption = Coat of Arms of Sierra Leone
order=Consul General to the United States
term_start=
term_end=
monarch = Elizabeth II
predecessor= Ahmed Tejan Kabbah
successor= C.O. Bright
office2=Deputy Commissioner of Police
term_start2=
term_end2=
predecessor2=Bambay Kamara
successor2=Bambay Kamara
birth_date=birth date and age|1928|08|22
birth_place=Mokorewoh, Moyamba, Sierra Leone
dead=alive
death_place=
occupation= Diplomat, Chairman, HIC
religion=Christianity

Samuel Tinga Khendekha Seisay (born 22 August 1928) is a Sierra Leonean pro-democracy activist and diplomat. [http://www.consulsnewyork.com/ Society for Foreign Consuls, 1971] ]

Early life

Born to a prominent political family, Seisay was educated at the prestigious St. Edward's Secondary School. He began his career as a law enforcement officer after graduating from the Police Training School at Hastings. After several years with the Sierra Leonean police force, Seisay departed for Europe to continue his studies. A gifted student, Seisay was accepted at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden where he read engineering and took his bachelors degree. While he was a student, Seisay had a life changing meeting with Martin Luther King in Stockholm which deepened his interest in nonviolent activism.

Seisay earned a masters degree in political science at Long Island University. He is a PhD candidate at The New School in New York. [http://ilhr.org/ilhr/regional/africa/radio.html Radio Monitoring Report: Vol. 1, Issue #0101] International League for Human Rights]

Diplomatic career

In 1967, Seisay founded the Sierra Leone Ex-Police Officers Association. He was elected as their representative to the Civilian Rule Committee, that was going to restore civilian rule in Sierra after the military government of Andrew Juxon-Smith. In 1968, Juxon Smith's government was overthrown in the Sergeants' Coup. Seisay was then appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Sierra Leonean Police Force by the ruling junta. Seisay proved to be most efficient in this post especially considering the difficult political climate and skillfully helped manage the transition.

Seisay was initially tapped to serve as Sierra Leone's Ambassador to Egypt but was instead appointed Consul General to the United States. He was stationed in New York where he served for six years. [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60812F839581B7493C6A8178BD95F4D8685F9 Sierra Leone Politics] New York Times, 14 October 1969] [ [http://www.jtsa.edu/Documents/pagedocs/Ratner/RG1_series_descriptions_and_boxlist.pdf The Jewish Theological Seminary: Letters of Dr. Louis Finkelstein] ] He worked to secure educational scholarships for Sierra Leonean students in various fields, primarily education.

Under his leadership, the Sierra Leone Consulate became financially self-sufficient. Seisay also served as Dean of the Consular Corps.

He sat on the Fifth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly for several years. [ [http://www.un.org/ga/60/fifth/ Administrative & Budgetary/5th Committee] ] [ [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F10910FA3455127B93C7A8178FD85F468785F9 3d Largest Diamond Is Found in Africa] New York Times, 15 April 1969]

Fight for Democracy

After Steven's declared a one-party state, Seisay's cousin John Amadu Bangura staged an unsuccessful military coup. Bangura was executed for treason. Seisay became an opponent of the Stevens government. He left his post as Consul General and began to protest the decline of democracy in Sierra Leone. [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70D1EFB3C5D1A7B93C7A91783D85F4D8685F9 Political Freedom in Sierra Leone] New York Times] He publicly criticized the Steven's regime in the New York Times.

Political Exile

Seisay then went into self-imposed political exile, from which he advocated non-violent resistance. Among his allies were his older brother Solomon G. Seisay, Director of Prisons, and former Prime Minister Albert Margai until Margai's death in 1980. Seisay aided Sierra Leoneans who fled from persecution to get political asylum in the United States. In 1987, Seisay's political exile ended when Joseph Saidu Momoh became President of Sierra Leone.

Later Career and Private Life

Seisay became an executive in the private sector. Based in the United States, he continuing to work internationally and remained devoted to the cause of re-establishing democracy in Sierra Leone. In the early 1960's, he married a member of the Swedish aristocracy and they raised their family in Westchester County, New York.

He has lectured at several universities, including Dartmouth, and published a number of articles and op-eds most notably in West Africa and Christian Science Monitor.

References


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