YANGON — Myanmar’s well-known mystic Daw Swe Swe Win—known by her clients as ET—died of natural causes at her home in Yangon’s Thingangyun Township early in the morning on Sunday. She was 57.
ET was consulted as a fortune teller or soothsayer by some of Myanmar’s—and Asia’s—most influential figures, including a number of ruling Myanmar generals and former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Her family members began to notice her ability to make predictions when she was just nine years old.
A severe fever at the age of 14 left her deaf, mute, and unable to walk unassisted. She rose to fame as a fortune teller and was nicknamed ET by her clients for her resemblance to the main character in Steven Spielberg’s movie “ET the Extra Terrestrial” (1982).
She turned 57 on July 5.
Even though she only received a formal education up to the fifth grade, her clients reported that she was able to write fluently in English.
She issued predictions in writing or through her younger sister Daw Thi Thi Win who read her lips.
She set up the ET Foundation to fund eye surgery for impoverished patients, including cataract procedures.
In May, she requested King of Thailand Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun to grant an amnesty to two migrant workers from Myanmar sentenced to death in Thailand for the double murder of two British backpackers in Koh Tao in 2014.
The two men were arrested in October 2014, one month after the crime took place. On Dec. 24, 2015, it was announced they would receive the death sentence.
In a letter to the Thai King, ET said that Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin had been “falsely arrested and convicted” in the murder case, which has been ongoing for nearly three years.
During her career, she refused to predict political results or the results of illegal lottery—locally known as “chel.” The policy was written on a sign in her house.
She will be buried on Tuesday at Yayway Cemetery in Yangon, according to family members.