Legal hurdles both in Sri Lanka and India are apparently holding up the release of 120 Tamil Nadu fishermen and 34 Lankan fishermen currently in detention in Lanka and India respectively, the New Indian Express reported.A highly placed Lankan source told Express that the Lankan authorities are hamstrung by the fact that 11 out of the 120 TN fishermen in their custody have cases of assault against them. While the Lankan Foreign and Fisheries Ministries favor early release all the Indian detainees, the Defense Ministry wants to pursue the cases of assault against eleven because they had allegedly attacked Lankan navy personnel while being apprehended. The other factor to consider is that both Lanka and India are insisting on wholesale reciprocal release and not piecemeal release. While it is true that Amaraweera was incorrectly quoted as saying that Lanka would impose stiff fines on intruding Indian fishermen, he had apparently said that Colombo would seek compensation from India for the environmental damage Indian poachers are causing by indulging in bottom trawling.The latter statement of Amaraweera’s was denied by a top Lankan official who told Express that seeking compensation is not government’s policy. But the official did say that a committee of experts is to be constituted to study environmental issues in the Palk Strait. On the Indian side, 29 of the 34 Lankan fishermen in custody have cases for catching sea cucumbers, which is banned in Indian waters. The initial aim of the two countries was to bring about the release before November 10, Deepavali day. But in later October, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa issued a statement saying that as per a government of India assurance, the release would take place on October 28. This raised hopes but only to be dashed soon.Meanwhile, the Lankan Minister of Fisheries, Mahinda Amaraweera, has been making controversial statements to the dismay of people who are working for the smooth and quick release of the fishermen and commencement of the fourth round of talks between the fishermen’s associations of the two countries.
“Kilimanjaro will defend against this action vigorously and look forward to doing so in court.” A spokesman said: “All tickets on Viagogo are authentic. Stuart Galbraith set up fake Viagogo booths at venues and conned our customers into believing that their tickets wouldn’t work. Show more Ed Sheeran’s promoter is being sued by Viagogo, the secondary ticketing website, for allegedly defrauding thousands of fans by confiscating their tickets at concert venues and forcing them to buy new ones.Sheeran has criticised reselling sites and warned before his 2017 tour that tickets bought from “unauthorised” sites such as Viagogo would not be valid.In court papers filed yesterday, Viagogo claim that Stuart Galbraith, founder of music promoters Kilimanjaro Live Ltd, pocketed millions in a “scam”.Kilimanjaro said the claims were “ludicrous”, “laughable” and “totally false”.Viagogo alleges that Mr Galbraith set up customer service booths branded with the Viagogo name, luring fans into declaring that they had bought their tickets via the site, then confiscated the legally-purchased tickets and forced the fans to buy new ones for £80 each. Both Mr Galbraith and an executive from Viagogo are scheduled to appear today [WEDS] before a Commons select committee on reforms to secondary ticketing.In a statement, Kilimanjaro said: “The claims made today by Viagogo are ludicrous, laughable and most importantly totally false. This is a transparent attempt to deflect attention away from their upcoming appearance at the DCMS inquiry and the wide-ranging criticisms, multiple legal prosecutions in many territories (including by the Competitions and Markets Authority in the UK) and condemnation of their business practices. “He confiscated their legitimate tickets and pocketed millions of pounds by forcing fans to buy new ones.There is no suggestion that Ed Sheeran would have been aware of the alleged malpractice, however he has spoken out against secondary ticket websites, saying fans should not have to pay more than face value and touts should not be allowed to profit.“People just need to start taking a stance and within two or three years companies like Viagogo are going to be kaput,” he has said. A statement issued by Viagogo claims Mr Galbraith was “paid twice by each of these customers, fraudulently pocketing millions of pounds in double revenue for the same seat”.It also stated that around 95 per cent of customers “avoided this scam” and gained entry into the venues, and that customers who paid twice have been refunded by Viagogo at its own cost.The company’s press release claims a “comprehensive file of incontrovertible photographic and filmed evidence” will be presented to the court supported by hundreds of witness statements. Stuart Galbraith of promoters Kilimanjaro Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.