ONE of the inherent problems with secrecy is that it immediately creates suspicion. This is particularly so if the secrecy is part of government policy.
Secrecy is fertile ground for conspiracy theorists. What might otherwise be a benign activity suddenly engenders all sorts of horrendous scenarios.
This has been the case with the Regional Processing Centre on Manus Island since the Abbott government came to power in Australia.
The remoteness of the island has been a positive boon in this respect.
Secrecy allows governments to get away with things they might reconsider if they were subject to public scrutiny. As we are slowly hearing this also seems to have rubbed off on G4S, the previous operator contracted to run the centre.
This is the perspective from Australia and the rest of Papua New Guinea but there is another perspective that seems to have been overlooked by everyone. This is the perspective of the local people of Manus Island.
If we are to believe the rumours it appears that they too have been deliberately kept in the dark about happenings in and around the Regional Processing Centre.
There are conspiracy theorists among these people too and they have active imaginations. All up, not a good scenario.
It now appears that the new operators of the centre have realised this fundamental error and are moving to fix it.
Wilson Security, on contract to the new operator, Transfield Services, has just announced that it intends to hold a series of information days in the form of public meetings on Los Negros where the centre is located.
The first meeting is scheduled for 10.30 am on Friday 9 May at Loniu Village.
The meeting will be opened by the Lombrum Base Commander Martin Taririn and will be chaired by Dr Powesiu Lawes from Loniu. Provincial Police Commander Alex Ndrasal will also be there.
Wilson Security will make a presentation explaining their role at the centre and there will then be an open forum where people can ask questions.
If you live on Los Negros or in Lorengau and want to find out what’s going on, ask questions about the centre, or make your point of view known you should attend the meeting.