However, activists plan to gather again on Thursday outside Parliament, while student leader Parit ‘Penguin’ Chiwarak has called on the public to take part in a general strike on Oct 14, the anniversary of the 1973 student uprising, reports the Bangkok Post.
The student-led group’s demands controversially include reform of the monarchy, outlined in a 10-point list that leaders wanted to present to the Privy Council.
In a brief encounter near the Privy Council Chambers, Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Pol Lt Gen Pakapong Pongpetra accepted the petition from Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, a co-leader of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration.
The leaders had originally planned to march to Government House but later changed the plan and said they would walk to the chambers in the Grand Palace compound. But they were blocked by police barriers.
Earlier in the morning, demonstrators performed a ceremony to install a plaque to declare the beginning of a new people’s movement.
The movement’s three core demands have been a new constitution, the resignation of the current government and an end to harassment of critics of the government.
After the demands were presented to the city police chief, Mr Parit announced the end of the rally, which had drawn tens of thousands of people to Sanam Luang since Saturday afternoon.
However, he said protest leaders would gather again outside Parliament on Thursday, the second day of a two-day debate on motions to amend the constitution.
As well, he said, another event is being planned for Oct 14 at a location to be announced later.
Grateful for peaceful rally
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has thanked protesters for staging a peaceful demonstration at Sanam Luang on Saturday night and for their cooperation with the authorities, according to his personal spokesman, Lt Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanich, the Bangkok Post also reported.
He also thanked security officials who took part in the peace-keeping operation. The rally attracted between 30,000 and 50,000 people at its peak on Saturday night but there were no serious incidents.
Gen Prawit was particularly full of praise for the Royal Thai Police Office for its work to provide convenience and security for the participants throughout the demonstration, which ended peacefully on Sunday morning.
All told, 57 companies of police, or about 8,500 officers, were deployed at 14 locations around Thammasat University and Sanam Luang on Saturday. Their number included border patrol police from Chai Nat province and anti-riot officers from Nakhon Pathom.
Other security precautions included metal detectors at entry points, while health workers set up checkpoints to take the temperature of people attending the rally.
Most rally participants wore masks to protect against Covid-19 but social distancing was not widely in evidence given the size of the crowds on Saturday night.