Rajapakshe said that during his meeting with the the Venerable Ampitiye Sumanarathana Thera, issues faced, not just by the Sinhalese but also by Tamils and Muslims in Batticaloa was discussed. (Colombo Gazette) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe met the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and the Venerable Ampitiye Sumanarathana Thera of the Mangalaramaya Temple in Batticaloa today and discussed some concerns they have.Rajapakshe said he met the monks in order to resolve the issue at hand and ensure the reconciliation process is not harmed. General Secretary of Bodu Bala Sena the Venerable Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said the talks were positive. Rajapakshe, meanwhile said that there are no minorities in the country as a whole and that it differs from district to district.He said that while in the Colombo district the Sinhalese are the majority, in Batticaloa the Tamils are the majority. He thanked the Minister for visiting Batticaloa to discuss the concerns the monks had.
Swimmers go for an early morning dip in the Serpentine, in London’s Hyde Park, on ThursdayCredit:HENRY NICHOLLS /Reuters Weather forecast for Thursday and the week ahead How long will the warm temperatures last?Thursday is expected to be the hottest day of the warm spell, with weekend temperatures dipping slightly before showery outbreaks on Sunday.Competitors in the London Marathon can expect hot and humid conditions with a forecast of between 21C (70F) and 23C (73F), Mr Burkill said.”There could be a shower but it’s not very likely. It’s not great conditions for running. In fact if any showers do come they might be very welcome,” he said. For the latest UK weather news, click here. Temperatures will climb even further tomorrow in the #sunshine, with possibly 27 ºC being reached somewhere in SE England, which will make it the #warmestdayoftheyear so far…again! pic.twitter.com/RBgPggGEf0— Met Office (@metoffice) April 18, 2018 Temperatures are set to soar to 28C (82F) in some parts on Thursday, making it the warmest April day in nearly 70 years.The South East will enjoy the best of the weather, while most of England and Wales should see the temperature rise into at least the low 20s, the Met Office said.Conditions will be mild across the UK, with Northern Ireland likely to push 19C (66F) in some parts and a peak of 20C (68F) possible in Aberdeenshire in Scotland, the forecaster said.The hot weather far surpasses the average maximum temperature for April, which sits at 11.4C (53F).The summery spell comes as a result of warm air from the Azores, off the coast of Portugal, being dragged up towards the UK by the combined efforts of an area of low pressure over the Atlantic and high pressure over western Europe. Mr Burkill said: “For anyone who suffers from tree pollen they will probably be feeling the effects, but that’s only about 20 per cent of hayfever sufferers. Grass pollen season comes later in summer.” Hayfever sufferers hit by high pollen countsSome hayfever sufferers could be affected by high pollen counts, he added. 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. When was the previous warmest April day?A high of 28C would beat the 2001 April high of 27.8C (82F), the Met Office said.The warmest April day on record was 29.4C (85F) in 1949.Meteorologist Alex Burkill said: “There’s a fairly good chance of 28C, there’s about a 60 per cent chance.”Quite widely we are going to see low 20s, and for many it will be a little warmer than Wednesday.” A high of 25.3C (78F) was recorded in St James’ Park in London on Wednesday, making it the hottest day of the year so far. The highest temperature of the year so far was recorded as 25.7C at Heathrow Airport on Thursday.Met Office forecaster Graham Madge said the mercury was expected to soar past that later, pointing out that Wednesday’s peak temperature was recorded at around 3pm.He said: “We are not expecting that that is the maximum temperature – it will go higher than that. It is already warmer than any April temperature last year.” Whilst pollen levels will be high across much of the UK, only hay fever sufferers who are affected by birch and ash tree pollen will feel the impacts 🌳 pic.twitter.com/2vUHiqgtG7— Met Office (@metoffice) April 19, 2018