In a recent interview the president, who has been accused of war crimes, told al-Jazeera the country has "marched forward rapidly" since the defeat of the LTTE terrorist group in 2009.
"During the past four years, after defeating northern terrorism, Sri Lanka has marched forward rapidly in the fields of economic and infrastructural development, human rights and tourism, foreign investment inflow, exports and many other areas." He said bn had been spent on rebuilding infrastructure in the north of the country, the traditional home of Sri Lanka's Tamily community, and prisoners of war had been released.
But it is not just the "disappeared" that are a problem for the Tamil residents of Sri Lanka's former war zone.
Charities have raised concerns about human rights in the region, and the vulnerability of various groups - from freed former members of the LTTE, known as the Tamil Tigers, to women.
Alan Keenan, Sri Lanka project director at the International Crisis Group, told Channel 4 News that the situation in the area has improved "in some ways" through the major investment in infrastructure in the Vanni (Sri Lanka’s northern province).
However, he said: "There are a lot of economic and humanitarian problems still there.
"The argument that many make, that I would agree with, is that the government has made too much of large infrastructure and development projects, which it is able to show off to the international community, and not enough of the situation on the ground.
"A lot of people still feel very scared and vulnerable." Tamils One group under threat is the Tamil population, which makes up the vast majority of people living in northern Sri Lanka.There are concerns from some members of the Tamil community that the government is undertaking a practice of "Sinhalisation" of the area.Many Sinhalese fled the north due to the atrocities being carried out by the Tamil Tigers during the civil war, and some have now returned.But, as Mr Keenan says, there are concerns about the number of Sinhalese coming into the area."A lot of Tamils think, let alone that the government is overly concerned with the rights of the Sinhalese, but that it is also bringing in new Sinhalese.The numbers and evidence are not there, so we can't judge the scale, we don't know if we are taking a few thousands, or a few tens of thousands.