“Rolls-Royce is expected to provide the engines for a multi-billion dollar refitting of SriLankan Airlines planes – but this must not influence the UK’s diplomatic position over human rights in the south Asian country, campaigners say,” the Guardian reports.
The deal has emerged at a time of mounting controversy over Sri Lanka’s hosting of the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November, despite allegations that it is intensifying a crackdown on critics and increasing human rights abuses, the Guardian reports.
SriLankan Airlines is set to retire its fleet of long-haul aircraft, reportedly replacing it with six Airbus A330-300 aircraft, at a cost of over $234m each, with Rolls-Royce Trent engines, and four Airbus A 350-900 with Rolls-Royce XWB engines, at a cost of over $283m each.
“The aircraft would be acquired over the next seven years,” a Sri Lankan government official told the French press agency, AFP.
Rolls-Royce said that it was not making any comment on reports of the deal.
“This must not detract from raising human rights issues. It must not be a condition on Britain remaining silent,” said Amnesty’s UK head of policy and government affairs, Allan Hogarth.