Dakshinie Ruwanthika Gunaratne is a non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute. Before joining the institute, she was the Coordinator and Armed Groups Expert on the Security Council Panel of Experts for Yemen. Since 2013, she has served, as the International Humanitarian Law Expert, with several Panels of Experts on Yemen and Sudan. Earlier in her career, she worked in various legal capacities with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka, and she was a lecturer of public international law and international humanitarian law at various universities in Sri Lanka. She was also a Practitioner-in-Residence at the University of Columbia.

Gunaratne has over 15 years of field experience in Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Yemen. She conducted extensive research into, and has been a resource person on sanctions, international humanitarian law, human rights, protection of civilians, sexual and gender-based violence, radicalization of children, starvation, and the UN Security Council providing deeper insights into the conflicts in Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Yemen. Her publications have been featured by EJIL Talk, Just Security, Lawfare and the Oxford University Press. 

Gunaratne holds a LLM in International Law from the University of Cambridge and a Mst in Human Rights from the University of Oxford. She is an Attorney-at-Law in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and a Dental Surgeon. 

Countries/Regions of Expertise 
Yemen, the Gulf, Sudan, Sri Lanka

Issues of Expertise
Sanctions, UN Security Council, Human Rights, Humanitarian Law, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, Children, Protection of Civilians, Humanitarian Assistance, Armed Groups.

English and Sinhala (fluent), French and Arabic (conversational). 

Contact Information

Please contact media@mei.edu or call 202-785-1141 ext. 241 for assistance contacting this expert.