ET, famed astrologer to the elite, dies of natural causes

By KYAW YE LYNN | FRONTIER

YANGON — A fortuneteller who was said to wield influence over prominent political figures in Southeast Asia died this morning from natural causes, a family member has confirmed.

Daw Swe Swe Win, who was known as ET because her gnarled appearance resembled that of the titular character in ET the Extraterrestrial, was sought out by many rich and powerful figures for advice over the years.

Her clients included former senior general Than Shwe, who ruled Myanmar from 1992 to 2011, and former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. She was rumoured to be behind the decision to relocate Myanmar’s capital from Yangon to Nay Pyi Taw, in the centre of the country.

Deaf and suffering from a speech impediment, Swe Swe Win’s predictions were translated to clients by her sister.

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Swe Swe Win’s nephew, actor Si Phyo, told Frontier that she died at her home in Yangon’s Thingangyun Township in the early hours of Sunday morning. She was 58.

“The death was not because of a particular disease. She died naturally and peacefully while she was sleeping,” Si Phyo said.

Swe Swe Win recently appealed to Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn to pardon two Myanmar migrant workers who have been sentenced to death for the murder of two British backpackers.

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