More Thrills Than Skills – A Half-Life in Journalism, Part 104

Over the next few weeks, is to publish, each weekday, extracts from the memoirs of Scottish war correspondent, Paul Harris. ‘More Thrills than Skills: A Half-life in Journalism’, is to be published March 1 next year, by Kennedy & Boyd, Glasgow, and available from

It is but six or seven minutes to Kurumba Village, the very first resort developed in The Maldives in 1970. We stay there for six nights as the guest of Mr Mohamed Maniku, the chairman of Universal. I had met him the previous July in Colombo when I spoke at – and gave away the prizes – at the annual prize-giving of the British School in Colombo. I attended the event with some trepidation: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs having told me not to speak in public again. But, I thought, what harm could there be in addressing a few hundred schoolchildren?

Afterwards, when I confessed to the chairman of the school – Mr Maniku – that I had never visited The Maldives, he promptly invited me to visit as his guest. The constant demands on a journalist who must ever be available to cover any news that might break debarred me from immediately taking up his offer but the uncertainty over my visa and future gave me that window of opportunity to take him up on his offer.

After Kurumba, Mr Maniku moved us to Full Moon Beach, an exclusive, intimate resort island. What could be more perfect? From the private sundeck of our sea bungalow at the exclusive resort of Full Moon -