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Sri Lankans protest New Zealand dairy giant

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- A Sri Lankan government-allied group protested Thursday opposite the local office of New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, demanding that the company respect a court order and withdraw its purportedly contaminated milk products from the market.

The protest by about 200 people from the Lakmawa Diyaniyo (Daughters of Lanka) came a day after a court issued a summons to Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka and four of its top officials to face contempt of court charges for allegedly not adhering to an order issued by a Sri Lankan judge last week suspending sales and advertising of all Fonterra milk products.

Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka said in a statement Wednesday that it "believes it has complied with all aspects" of the order and that "it has not been held in contempt of court."

The protesters shouted slogans and displayed banners that read "Ban all tainted milk" and "Respect court order — Stop selling tainted milk." They also brought a coffin with posters of Fonterra brands and laid it before the office at Biyagama, on the outskirts of Colombo, the capital.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka's Health Ministry said tests performed by the government agency Industrial Technology Institute confirmed that two batches of two Fonterra milk products showed traces of the agricultural chemical dicyandiamide, or DCD, and ordered a recall. Fonterra earlier said it had recalled the two batches.