By Lillian Suwanrumpha (guest contributor)

On Sunday, September 18, 2011 the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship and its affiliated groups commemorated the five-year anniversary of the military coup of September 19, 2006 that ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Reportedly, 15,000 red shirts convened on Ratchadamnoen Road around Democracy Monument in the afternoon to hold speeches and perform songs. While many red shirt leaders, some of whom became MPs in the last election, were in Cambodia to meet with Thaksin, some leaders like, Thida Thavornseth, Dr. Weng Tojirakarn and Nattawut Saikua did appear on stage. (Saksith Saiyasombut)

A red shirt supporter pays her respects to the victims of last year’s crackdown by the Thai Army on the prolonged red shirt protests in Bangkok before the activities to commemorate the military coup of 2006. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

Sombat Boonngamanong, activist and leader of the Red Sunday group, sporting some unusual attire during the activities to commemorate the military coup of 2006. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

Red Shirt leaders speak to an estimated 15,000 Red Shirts present at the rally despite threats of rain, which have caused flooding havoc in large parts of the country over recent weeks. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

A picture of Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand's first female prime minister and sister of toppled prime minister Thaksin, sits on the fence during the activities to commemorate the military coup of 2006. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

As with all Red rallies since the 2006 coup, folk music, protest anthems and dancing were the order of the day. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

The usual Thai media outlets were present yet there were very few foreign correspondents to be seen. Ongoing violence in the South and current negotiations with Cambodia largely overshadowed news of the mass gathering. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

UDD leaders Thida Thavornseth and Dr. Weng Tojirakarn (second and third from right) relax in the makeshift pavilion as the downpour keeps its daily promise. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

However, it didn’t stop Wiputalaeng Wattapoomtai, once charged for terrorism by the previous Democrat government for his role in last year’s protests, from continuing proceedings. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

Vigils were kept for the dead throughout the evening for victims of last year’s crackdown. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

Police were present as usual, though there was little tension. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

Away from the main stage, poetry, song and comedy hosted by the Somyos’ 24th June Democracy Group and others tackled relatively “sensitive” issues. Somyos Prueksakasemsuk is currently in jail on Lese Majeste charges. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

Red shirt co-leader Nattawut Saikua greets his supporters. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

...and then proceeds to lift the crowd with another typically thunderous speech. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

Red Shirt leaders express gratitude to their mass of supporters with a song and a dance - somewhat. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

Red Shirts continued to surround Democracy Monument late into the night. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha)

Lillian Suwanrumpha is a freelance videographer and photographer based in Bangkok, Thailand. She can be followed on Twitter @TheLilyFish.

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