Tears as Myanmar mourns famed fortune-teller 'ET'

Yangon (AFP) –


Hundreds of mourners gathered Tuesday to say a tearful farewell to Myanmar's most famous soothsayer ET, a deaf mystic who died aged 58 after a career courted by billionaires and generals.

The fortune teller, 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 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 Thai ex-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.

Funeralgoers wiped away tears as the soothsayer was carried by in a glass casket, adorned with flowers, before her burial.

Dozens of pink-clad nuns carried her portrait as they prayed.

One mourner told AFP 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, told AFP in 2013 that that her sibling's predictions over the years had been "80 percent 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.