- Tinga Seisay
imagesize = 149px
image caption = Coat of Arms of Sierra Leone
order=Consul General to the
monarch = Elizabeth II
Ahmed Tejan Kabbah
successor= C.O. Bright
Deputy Commissioner of Police
birth_date=birth date and age|1928|08|22
Moyamba, Sierra Leone
Diplomat, Chairman, HIC
Samuel Tinga Khendekha Seisay (born
22 August 1928) is a Sierra Leonean pro- democracy activistand diplomat. [http://www.consulsnewyork.com/ Society for Foreign Consuls, 1971] ]
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 Technologyin Swedenwhere he read engineering and took his bachelors degree. While he was a student, Seisay had a life changing meeting with Martin Luther Kingin Stockholm which deepened his interest in nonviolent activism.
Seisay earned a masters degree in
political scienceat Long Island University. He is a PhD candidate at The New Schoolin New York. [http://ilhr.org/ilhr/regional/africa/radio.html Radio Monitoring Report: Vol. 1, Issue #0101] International League for Human Rights]
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
Ambassadorto Egyptbut was instead appointed Consul Generalto 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.
He sat on the Fifth Committee of the
United Nations General Assemblyfor 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 Bangurastaged 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.
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 Margaiuntil 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 Momohbecame 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 aristocracyand 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 Africaand Christian Science Monitor.
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