Mourners bid farewell to Myanmar’s famed fortune-teller ‘ET’

The soothsayer’s name is believed to have been inspired by her resemblance to the character in Steven Spielberg’s film

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 September, 2017, 7:59pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 September, 2017, 9:41pm

Hundreds of mourners gathered on Tuesday to farewell Myanmar’s most famous fortune-teller known as ‘ET’, a deaf mystic who died after a career courted by billionaires and generals.

The soothsayer, whose name is believed to have been inspired by her resemblance to the character in Steven Spielberg’s film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, died aged 58 on Sunday at her home in Yangon.

Her clients came from across Southeast Asia’s elite, including generals in Myanmar’s former junta.

Than Shwe, Myanmar’s feared former dictator, is rumoured to have been a regular client, while former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra also leaned on her wisdom.

Legend has it that the mystic, whose full name was Swe Swe Win, lost her hearing and ability to speak during a thunderstorm as a child, but gained the power of a higher vision.

Funeral attendees wiped away tears as her body was carried in a glass casket adorned with flowers before her burial. Dozens of nuns wearing pink carried her portrait as they prayed.

One mourner said she travelled from France for the occasion.

“We feel very blessed that she has also helped us and helped a lot of people in the families around the world. And today we hope that she is in a better place, in paradise,” Kelly Lee said.

ET’s sister Thi Thi, who acted as her interpreter, said in 2013 that her sibling’s predictions over the years had been “80 per cent correct”.

One of these was that she would have an early death from heart failure.

But Thi Thi said at the time the prediction did not worry her sister, who was confident she would be “very pretty” in her next life.