A crisis meeting between leaders of rival Thai political groups has ended inconclusively.

The army has called for another meeting tomorrow, a participant said. 

"The army chief asked us to go back home and think about the things we discussed in order to find a solution for the country," Puchong Nutrawong, secretary-general of the Election Commission said.

The meeting came a day after army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha declared martial law to try to resolve a decade-long crisis that has raised fears of civil war. 

He said he had to act because political tensions had spiralled following months of deadly anti-government protests - a move critics branded a "de facto coup".

Gen Prayuth denied it marked a military takeover and promised he would bring together the antagonists in Thailand's political conflict for talks on an end to the crisis.

But the dispatch of armed troops to the streets, the shutdown of more than a dozen television stations, and the sweeping powers assumed by the military have sparked international concern over restricted civil liberties in the kingdom.